6/15/2020

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020


Please take the time to watch this video and post this flyer widely! Join the ILWU March and Rally against Police Terror!
Jack

Enough Is Enough! ILWU Local 10 & 34 Leaders Speak Out On The Fight Against Racism & Worker Action On Juneteenth



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Subject: San Quentin Caravan  Protest # 2:  “Being on death row with this COVID-19 pandemic raging is like having another death sentence.” -Kevin Cooper, innocent death row inmate  NO STATE EXECUTION by COVID-19!  Please join CODEPINK  and many others at this second San Quentin Car Caravan protest. As of June 8, 15 prisoners at San Quentin are COVID-19 positive, and they have already transferred prisoners from one prison with high COVID-19 inmate deaths (12) to San Quentin without testing them!  Details in attached press release below.
San Quentin Caravan  Protest # 2:

“Being on death row with this COVID-19 pandemic raging is like having another death sentence.”
-Kevin Cooper, innocent death row inmate

NO STATE EXECUTION by COVID-19!

Please join CODEPINK  and many others at this second San Quentin Car Caravan protest.
As of June 8, 15 prisoners at San Quentin are COVID-19 positive, and they have already transferred prisoners from one prison with high COVID-19 inmate deaths (12) to San Quentin without testing them!  Details in attached press release below.

20200620flyer.pdf

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Rayshard Brooks, 27 years old, was shot to death while running away from police in Atlanta Friday, June 12, 2020.

SAY HIS NAME!


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/us/videos-rayshard-brooks-shooting-atlanta-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


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Kimberly Jones

If you haven't seen this, you're missing something spectacular:

On Saturday May 30th filmmaker and photographer David Jones of David Jones Media felt compelled to go out and serve the community in some way. He decided to use his art to try and explain the events that were currently impacting our lives. On day two, Sunday the 31st, he activated his dear friend author Kimberly Jones to tag along and conduct interviews. During a moment of downtime he captured these powerful words from her and felt the world couldn’t wait for the full length documentary, they needed to hear them now.


Kimberly Jones on YouTube 


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Awesome! I always wonder about what protests accomplish. Here’s a list:

So what has protesting accomplished?

👉🏾Within 10 days of sustained protests:
Minneapolis bans use of choke holds.

👉🏾Charges are upgraded against Officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.

👉🏾Dallas adopts a "duty to intervene" rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.

👉🏾New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.

👉🏾In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.

👉🏾Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

👉🏾MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.

👉🏾Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities (i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale).

👉🏾Monuments celebrating confederates are removed in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.

👉🏾Street in front of the White House is renamed "Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.

Then, there's all the other stuff that's hard to measure:

💓The really difficult public and private conversations that are happening about race and privilege.

💓The realizations some white people are coming to about racism and the role of policing in this country.

💓The self-reflection.

💓The internal battles exploding within organizations over issues that have been simmering or ignored for a long time. Some organizations will end as a result, others will be forever changed or replaced with something stronger and fairer.

Globally:

🌎 Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.

🌎 Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

🌎 As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.

🌎 People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.

🌎 In France, protesters marched holding signs that said "I can't breathe" to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.

🌎 Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:

✊🏽 In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like "Black lives matter," and "No justice, no peace."

✊🏽 In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.

✊🏾 A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.

✊🏿 In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.

✊🏿In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said "Stop killing black people," "Say his name," and "We will not be silent."

✊🏾 In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.

✊🏾 In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read "I can't breathe."

✊🏾 In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.

✊🏾In Denmark, protesters were heard chanting "No justice, no peace!" throughout the streets of Copenhagen, while others gathered outside the US embassy.

✊🏾 In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.

✊🏾 And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.

💐 Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.

💐 In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.

💐 And in Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, "on a wall destroyed by military planes."

Before the assassination of George Floyd some of you were able to say whatever the hell you wanted and the world didn't say anything to you...

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT, AN AWAKENING...MANY OF YOU ARE BEING EXPOSED FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. #readthatagain

Don't wake up tomorrow on the wrong side of this issue. Its not to late to SAY,

"Maybe I need to look at this from a different perspective."

"Maybe I don't know what its like to be black in America..."

"Maybe, just maybe, I have been taught wrong."

There is still so much work to be done. It's been a really dark, raw week. This could still end badly. But all we can do is keep doing the work.

Keep protesting.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO START A RACE WAR; WE ARE PROTESTING TO END IT,
PEACEFULLY.

How beautiful is that?

ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER UNTIL YOU INCLUDE BLACK LIVES.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU DO NOTHING TO STOP SYSTEMIC RACISM & POLICE BRUTALITY.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE DYING AND ALL YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THE LOOTING.

YOU CANNOT SAY 'ALL LIVES MATTER' WHEN YOU ALLOW CHILDREN TO BE CAGED, VETERANS TO GO HOMELESS, AND POOR FAMILIES TO GO HUNGRY & LOSE THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

DO ALL LIVES MATTER? YES. BUT RIGHT NOW, ONLY BLACK LIVES ARE BEING TARGETED, JAILED, AND KILLED EN MASSE- SO THAT'S WHO WE'RE FOCUSING ON.

🖤🖤🖤BLACK LIVES MATTER🖤🖤🖤

IF YOU CAN'T SEE THIS, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

*I do not know the original author*

Copy & paste widely!


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BLACK LIVES MATTER


Ultimately, the majority of human suffering is caused by a system that places the value of material wealth over the value of
human life. To end the suffering, we must end the profit motive—the very foundation of capitalism itself.
—BAUAW
(Bay Area United Against War Newsletter)


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Tens-of-thousands protest in San Francisco June 3, 2020





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George Floyd's Last Words
"It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please
please
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please
(inaudible)
man can't breathe, my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please (inaudible)
I can't breathe sh*t
I will
I can't move
mama
mama
I can't
my knee
my nuts
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
please
please
I can't breathe officer
don't kill me
they gon' kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon' kill me
they gon' kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please
please
please I can't breathe"

Then his eyes shut and the pleas stop. George Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after.



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Credit...

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Trump Comic Satire—A Proposal
          By Shakaboona

PRES. TRUMP HIDES IN WHITE HOUSE BUNKER IN FEAR OF PROTESTORS
Hello everyone, it's Shakaboona here, on May 29, 2020, Friday, it was reported by NPR and other news agencies that when protestors marched on the White House, the Secret Service (SS) rushed Pres. Trump to a protective bunker in the basement of the White House for his safety. When I heard that news I instantly visualized 3 scenes - (Scene 1) a pic of Pres. Saddam Hussein hiding in an underground cave in fear of the U.S. Army, (Scene 2) a pic of Pres. Donald Trump hiding in an underground bunker shaking in fear beneath a desk from U.S. Protestors as Secret Service guards (with 2 Lightning bolts on their collars) in hyper security around him with big guns drawn out, and (Scene 3) a pic of Pres. Trump later stood in front of the church across from the White House with a Bible in hand & chest puffed out & threatened to activate the U.S. Army against American citizen protestors.
 ~ I think this would be an underground iconic image of the power of the People & the cowardice/fear of Pres. Trump, not to mention that I think such a creative comic satire of Trump would demolish his self image (haha). I ask for anyone's help to turn my above visual satire of Trump into an actual comic satire strip & for us to distribute the finished comic satire strip worldwide, esp. to the news media. Maybe we can get Trump to see it and watch him blow a gasket (lol).
 ~ Please everyone, stay safe out there, b/c Trump is pushing this country to the verge of Civil War. Be prepared in every way imaginable. Peace. - Ur Brother, Shakaboona

Write to Shakaboona:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826
SCI Rockview
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

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Liz McAlister, the eldest of the King Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced today via video to time served, three years supervised release and for a portion of the restitution for the seven of just over $30,000. She was the first of the defendants to be sentenced. The remaining six are scheduled to appear in the Brunswick court, June 29 and 30. Thirty-seven years ago Liz first stood before a Syracuse federal judge to hear the court render a sentence for her Griffiss Plowshares direct action protesting nuclear weapons. Today, with her attorney Bill Quigley in New Orleans and her family beside her in Connecticut, Liz appeared via video before Judge Lisa Godbey Wood who sat in Georgia's Southern District Federal Court in Brunswick, to hear today's sentence, maybe the last in the long career of indefatigable hope and courage and unrelenting opposition to nuclear weapons.

Last October, Liz, and the six others were found guilty of trespass, conspiracy and destruction of federal property, three felonies, and a misdemeanor in all, at the Kings Bay Naval Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, where they had the audacity, in the middle of the night, to symbolically disarm a shrine celebrating US nuclear weapons and to protest the preparations for omnicide—the death of everything. Kings Bay is home to 6 Trident submarines that deploy one-quarter of the US nuclear arsenal.

The world has changed since October 2019 when activists gathered for the trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 in Brunswick, Georgia. We heard testimony and watched a video describing their incursion into the naval base. We heard the defendants explain why they chose April 4—the anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination—to carry out their act of faithful obedience. They described hanging banners, the first, a quote from the Rev. Dr. King that read, “The ultimate logic of racism is genocide,” and another that said "The ultimate logic of Trident is Omnicide." They also painted messages of peace and prayerfully poured baby bottles of blood at the naval base.

In the intervening months, while federal marshals prepared presentencing reports for the Kings Bay 7, the COVID-19 pandemic rose up to take more than 400,000 lives globally—reminding us all, if we have ears to hear, of the peril of complacency in the face of low-probability/high-risk events. It is no exaggeration, and not meant to diminish the suffering of those who have been ravaged by or lost loved ones to the novel corona virus, to say that a nuclear war would make the current struggles look like a paper cut by comparison.

In quiet, quintessential southern, Brunswick, Georgia, the spotlight that shone briefly on nuclear weapons during the trial in October shifted abruptly in May when the pandemic of racism re-entered the public’s line of sight and the world learned that Ahmaud Arbery, a young African-American man was hunted down by three armed white men. Arbery, out for a morning jog in February, the men in pickup trucks, shot and killed him. Going into May, none of the men had been indicted or faced any charges. They had, literally, gotten away with murder. Now the three men sit in the Glynn County jail where Fr. Steve Kelly has been for more than two years.

Because of COVID, Instead of gathering in the Brunswick court with activists and supporters, complete with a festival of hope, we gathered in spirit to listen to the court proceedings on a conference call line. The night before, friends, family, and supporters had gathered for a virtual blessing and liturgy via a Zoom/ Facebook event that will be available on our website later this week.

Martin Gugino, the elderly man who was knocked down to the sidewalk by Buffalo police and lay bleeding from his head is a long-time peace activist. He recently made a series of video statements in support of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists. He knows them from drone protests at The Hancock AFB in Syracuse, NY and Witness Against Torture actions in Washington, DC. Martin primarily works through the Western New York Peace Center. He texted today to let us know he is alive and in recovery.


Frida Berrigan's Statement


Frida Berrigan, Liz’s daughter, gave a spirited statement of support for her mother attesting to her lifelong commitment to peace. “…as a 46 year-old white citizen in a nation that is going to spend $720 plus billion on the military this year, even in the face of an economy smashing pandemic that has killed 100,000 people and laid bare the stark inequity and fundamental brokenness of every fiber of the social safety net, I am grateful that people like my mother are willing to stand up and say: “Trident is a crime.”

As a 46 year-old white citizen in a country where white supremacy and militarized policing are so emboldened that Derek Chavin can crush George Floyd’s life out of him in front of a crowd, in front of cameras, where the McMichaels father and son can gun down Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight as he jogged through the streets of a quiet Georgia town, I draw hope and inspiration from white people who continue to invoke Dr. King’s framework of the giant triplets of racism, militarism and materialism… these weights that cripple our collective humanity. I draw hope and inspiration from my mom and her friends who declare that “Black Lives Matter” who wed their anti-nuclear analysis with an anti-racist ethos, and declare that the ultimate logic of trident is omnicide.

So, I am here as a daughter who doesn’t want her 80 year-old mother sent back to jail and a human being who wonders how anything ever changes if people like my mom aren't willing to take that risk.

I’m hoping you agree with the government that Liz McAlister has served enough time in jail already and you’ll help our family close this long and challenging episode of our lives today by sentencing her to time served. I also hope that you will recognize that as a person who owns nothing but the clothes on her back and the water colors she uses to paint with her grandchildren, you will waive all fines and restitution. "

(Frida's full statement is on the website: Sentencing Statement.)

Liz's Statement

Finally Liz spoke about what motivated her to join this action and take such risks. She quoted the biblical exhortation to “Beat swords into plowshares” from Isaiah and said, “All my life I've tried to follow the prophet, Isaiah, to stop learning war... All my life I have spoken and written against nuclear weapons and I believe these are contrary to life, destructive of life on every single level.”

The sentencing hearing began with technical glitches and was adjourned for more than a half hour at the beginning while these were worked out. There were 270 people listening to the audio feed when adjourned and due to some confusion about getting back on only 230 were on for the actual hearing which went on for another hour. Judge Wood said that she had read several hundred letters which had come to her from plowshares supporters and considered each of them. However, the judge then ruled against all the defense arguments for mitigation.

The defendants are considering doing another webinar before the end of June. Stay tuned.
                                                                         

EMAIL: Media: kbp7media@gmail.com
General: kingsbayplowshares@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www.kingsbayplowshares7.org
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Kingsbayplowshares
TWITTER: https://www.twitter.com/kingsbayplow7
INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/kingsbayplowshares7

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This will make you smile!

Atlanta called in the NG. Know what the NG did?

https://imgur.com/gallery/3gaTKG3

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Still photo from Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove"released January 29, 1964

Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons 


Spending 2020

  In its report "Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2020" the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has produced the first estimate in nearly a decade of global nuclear weapon spending, taking into account costs to maintain and build new nuclear weapons. ICAN estimates that the nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.9 billion on their 13,000-plus nuclear weapons in 2019, equaling $138,699 every minute of 2019 on nuclear weapons, and a $7.1 billion increase from 2018.
These estimates (rounded to one decimal point) include nuclear warhead and nuclear-capable delivery systems operating costs and development where these expenditures are publicly available and are based on a reasonable percentage of total military spending on nuclear weapons when more detailed budget data is not available. ICAN urges all nuclear-armed states to be transparent about nuclear weapons expenditures to allow for more accurate reporting on global nuclear expenditures and better government accountability.
ICAN, May 2020
https://www.icanw.org/global_nuclear_weapons_spending_2020

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Shooting and looting started: 400 years ago

Shooting, looting, scalping, lynching,
Raping, torturing their way across
the continent—400 years ago—
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide rolling down on
Today…
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide leaving in-
visible yellow crime
scene tape crisscrossing Tallahassee
to Seattle; San Diego to Bangor… 
Shooting Seneca, Seminole, Creek,
Choctaw, Mohawk, Cayuga, Blackfeet,
Shooting Sioux, Shawnee, Chickasaw,
Chippewa before
Looting Lakota land; Looting Ohlone
Land—
Looting Ashanti, Fulani, Huasa, Wolof,
Yoruba, Ibo, Kongo, Mongo, Hutu, Zulu…
Labor.
Colonial settler thugs launched this
endless crimson tide—hot lead storms—
Shooting, looting Mexico for half of New
Mexico; a quarter of Colorado; some of
Wyoming and most of Arizona; Looting
Mexico for Utah, Nevada and California
So, next time Orange Mobutu, Boss Tweet,
is dirty like Duterte—howling for shooting;
Next time demented minions raise rifles to
shoot; Remind them that
Real looters wear Brooks Brothers suits;
Or gold braid and junk medals ‘cross their
chests. Real looters—with Capitalist Hill
Accomplices—
Steal trillions
Not FOX-boxes, silly sneakers, cheap clothes…
© 2020. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.       



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CALL TO ACTION: 



Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim 

Hospitalized with COVID-19





Widely respected elder Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), who in his teens joined the Black Panther Party, and who was convicted at 19 and has been incarcerated for 49 years in NYS prisons on a 25-year minimum sentence, became ill last week, and has tested positive for COVID-19. His health deteriorated over the weekend and he has been hospitalized since Monday.


For months, public health experts, faith leaders, Congress members, and hundreds of others have warned NYS officials that the prisons are potential death traps in the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this, a New York State judge on April 27th ordered Jalil's temporary release from Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY, based on his extreme vulnerability to the virus. Jalil is 68 years old and suffers from serious chronic health conditions that can make COVID-19 deadly.


However, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, acting on behalf of NYS DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci, appealed the ruling, blocking Jalil's release and forcing him to remain in prison. Just as we feared, Jalil, who was ordered released a month ago, eventually contracted COVID-19.


Tomorrow, May 28th, a NYS Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from Jalil's attorney and the DOCCS attorney. We ask you to call and tweet the AG and DOCCS commissioner today and tomorrow urging them to withdraw the appeal so that Jalil can be released from the hospital to the community, where he has medical and other support awaiting him, rather than be returned to the prison where his recovery will be impeded, and where he will again be vulnerable to contracting another COVID-19 infection.


Here's what you can do:


TWEET!


@TishJames @NewYorkStateAG Withdraw your appeal of Judge Shick's 4/27 order releasing Anthony Bottom. If you had not appealed/blocked his release, Mr. Bottom wouldn't have contracted COVID & wouldn't be seriously ill now. Withdraw the appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe


@NYSDOCCS Cmr. Annucci should withdraw his appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom. On 4/27, Judge Stephan Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed, blocking release. Now he is ill. Withdraw appeal so he can go home, recover & stay safe


CALL  the Attorney General and Commissioner


Attorney General  Letitia James - (718) 560-2040



Sample Script For AG: 


My name is [X]. I am calling to urge the AG to withdraw her appeal of the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN# 77A4283, which was ordered by Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick on April 27. Had the AG not originally appealed that decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be seriously ill and in the hospital now. The AG's appeal was responsible for his current life-threatening illness. She must now withdraw her appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. The communities that elected her, and whom she claims to represent, demand this of her.




Commissioner Annucci - (518) 457-8126


Sample Script For Commissioner: 



My name is [X]. I am calling to urge Commissioner  Annucci to withdraw his opposition to the release of Anthony Bottom, DIN#77A4283. On April 27, Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Stephan G. Schick ordered Mr. Bottom's release to protect him from COVID-19, but DOCCS appealed and he was not released. Predictably, Mr. Bottom contracted the virus and now he is hospitalized with COVID-19. If DOCCS had not appealed this decision, Mr. Bottom would not have contracted COVID-19, as he recently did, and would not be in the hospital now. DOCCS should withdraw the appeal so that Mr. Bottom can return to his community after he recovers from COVID-19 and avoid being re-infected. Alternatively, the Commissioner should expedite and ensure approval of Mr. Bottom's supplemented request for medical parole.  


Read more about the case (with additional articles coming soon):


Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org

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We Need Your Support: Unite to Send Deputy Chairman Kwame Shakur to Minneapolis!

In light of recent protests following the May 24, 2020, state-sanctioned lynching of George Floyd, a black man, and resident of Minneapolis, MN we recognize the protests happening there as an organic demonstration of resistance to imperialist oppression by the people and understand the importance of having the New Afrikan Black Panther Party on the ground in order to give proper leadership and direction to this important struggle. Because of this, we believe that it is necessary to get our Deputy Chairman, Kwame Shakur from Indiana, where he resides, to Minneapolis, MN.  We are calling on all of our friends and supporters to materially assist us in accomplishing this task!  Kwame will need resources that will enable him to travel to Minneapolis, MN, remain for as long as need be, and return to his home in IN.  You can donate to this cause through PayPal at PayPal.me/drayonmiller or through CashApp at $PantherLove2005.

Kwame has been actively organizing and leading mass demonstrations in Indianapolis IN in response to prisoner abuse and police killings there. His involvement and development of wide community support can be seen in the many live recordings made on the ground, which can be seen on his Facebook page (see link below) and podcasts on YouTube. We want to take this revolutionary guidance to Minneapolis and develop new forces to build and advance the work of the mass struggle there. We want boots on the ground! All power to the people!
DONATE
Facebook
Website
Copyright © *2020* *Kevin Rashid Johnson*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:

Kevin Rashid Johnson
D.O.C. #264847, G-20-2C
Pendleton Correctional Facility 4490 W. Reformatory Rd

PendletonIN  46064




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Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin 



conviction integrity unit—confession and all





Petition update - Please sign at the link above!
May 23, 2020 —  

We have submitted our application to the @FultonCountyDA #ConvictionIntegrityUnit demanding a retrial for Imam Jamil Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown. 

We must now show the establishment that we care more about justice than they do about corruption and injustice. 

The proof of misdeeds is clear, the proof of innocence is clear, a retrial or release are the only acceptable options. 

We make the news so let our voices once again be heard loudly and in unison…we demand a retrial…we demand justice!   #FreeImamJamil

Questions and comments may be sent to info@freedomarchives.org

To unsubscribe contact: http://freedomarchives.org/mailman/options/ppnews_freedomarchives.org



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#FreeOurYouth Chicago
Chicago community members have been active in #FreeOurYouth actions to call for the release of incarcerated young people during the pandemic. Photo: Sarah-Ji @loveandstrugglephotos 

Dear Friend,

More than 50 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign taught us what COVID-19 remind us of today. Living wages, health care for all, jobs, and labor rights are issues of right vs. wrong and life vs. death.

On June 20, please join AFSC and partners across the U.S. for a digital gathering of the new Poor People’s Campaign to demand our government prioritize the needs of the poor and working class—and ensure all people have the resources they need to thrive.

Here are this week’s resources to help you stay informed and support your activism.  

Video: How we're responding to COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world: AFSC’s Joyce Ajlouny, Kerri Kennedy, and Sayrah Namaste share how AFSC is responding to the needs of communities around the world in this pandemic. And join us on Facebook every Thursday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT for our weekly updates from AFSC staff! (Facebook)

AFSC and partners file class-action lawsuit demanding the release of all immigrants from for-profit detention center: One employee has already died from the virus, and 18 people in detention and another 17 staff members have tested positive. (Gothamist)

As we honor health care professionals, let's remember Razan al-Najjar and all health care workers in Palestine: AFSC’s Mike Merryman-Lotze explains the challenges facing health professionals in Palestine and invites all to join AFSC’s social media day of action on June 1.

If the state fails to act, prisons will become death camps: New Jersey must immediately release more people from prison and provide adequate medical and social services to those incarcerated, co-writes AFSC’s Bonnie Kerness in this op-ed with attorneys Jean Ross and Daniel McCarey. (Star-Ledger)

4 things you need to know about the Supreme Court case on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): A decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young people is expected any day now—here’s what could happen and how we can advocate for permanent protection for DACA recipients, writes AFSC’s Peniel Ibe.

The call to #FreeOurYouth during COVID-19: In Chicago, community members are demanding the release of incarcerated youth—and real investments in their health and future, writes AFSC’s Mary Zerkel.

Be well and take care. 

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Resolution for Funding for the Undocumented




Whereas, Governor Newsom recently announced the creation of a $125 million emergency relief fund for undocumented workers, none of whom are eligible for the federal stimulus, the centerpiece being a one-time payment of $500 to 150,000 individuals;

Whereas, the undocumented pay $3 billion in state and local taxes every year;[1]

Whereas, California's cost-of-living is extraordinarily high;[2]

Resolved:  Adult School Teachers United considers the one-time $500 grant to undocumented workers at best, token.  It is barely 25 percent of the weekly wage or six percent of the monthly wage the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers necessary to lift a family of four in the Bay Area above the poverty line. This is approximately $47.50-an-hour total per household before taxes extrapolating from figures provided by HUD.

As the fifth largest economy in the world, and with Silicon Valley, agribusiness, defense contractors and Hollywood sitting on huge capital reserves, California must provide a living wage to all. Instead it has failed to even match the $600 a week Unemployment Insurance (UI) boost provided by the federal government which itself is grossly inadequate.

We will attempt to circulate our position widely in the labor movement and in the immigrants' rights community, and we call for united labor actions to fight for the necessary level of financial support.”

Contact: 

Kristen Pursley, President,

Adult School Teachers United (ASTU)

(510)-741-8359




[1] https://www.kqed.org/news/11809657/new-covid-19-relief-benefits-leaves-out-some-undocumented-immigrants
[2] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/10/americas-10-most-expensive-states-to-live-in-2019.html

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Sign the petition

Mayor Breed:
City of SF Essential Workers Deserve Safety!

Please read, sign, and share this petition calling for safety protections for SF essential workers!

San Francisco is being touted as a leader in the fight to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Yet, San Francisco Water Department employees’ concerns about their safety are minimized, or worse, ignored. They are expected to work as if this pandemic is not even happening. They serve the residents of San Francisco with pride, but are being asked to put routine and non-essential work before their health and well-being.
Elected officials and health experts have repeatedly underscored that social distancing is the best weapon we have to protect ourselves from contracting – or unwittingly spreading – the coronavirus. However, it is not possible to maintain social distancing for a crew of several people installing a water service or carrying out strenuous physical work in various Water Department shops.
SFWD, a revenue-generating department, has not scaled back work. Mayor Breed has ordered virtually all construction within San Francisco to be stopped, with those crews sent home to shelter in place. But Water Department employees are still out in public, installing water services for these same buildings that have been shut down due to COVID-19. On the other hand, employees in SF’s Sewer Department have been working one week on, two weeks off, with no reduction in pay, in order to reduce their exposure.
Another issue is the lack of sufficient personal protective equipment.Workers are allotted one face mask per day which becomes unusable early in their shifts. There has not been training or guidance, nor physical tools, for employees to do their work safely, although much of the work they are doing simply cannot be done safely during these times.
Additionally, there is the issue of vulnerability for at-will (known as Category-18) and “as needed” staff, who can be laid off at any time with no reason. They work side by side with permanent employees, but are often prevented from speaking out because they have to weigh their own lives against the potential repercussions of speaking up when they are instructed to put themselves in jeopardy.
We cannot help but wonder if the reason SFWD workers feel disposable, rather than “essential,” is because the City is putting Water Department revenue above the very life and health of its workforce. In spite of government leaders’ claims to the contrary, this does not seem like “we are all in this together.” We, the undersigned SFWD (City Distribution Division) employees, their families, ratepayers and concerned community members call on City and PUC leaders to meet the following demands.
1. Reduce the scope of SFWD operations to truly essential work.Institute a one week on/two weeks off schedule with no loss of pay, similar to staff in the Sewer Department. Social distancing is at the very heart of the strategy to combat the virus so minimizing the number of people reporting to work decreases their exposure rate.
2. Provide sufficient personal protective equipment in order to do every job safely, whether in the field, shops or offices. If such PPE is not available, SFWD employees should not be asked to compromise their lives and the health and safety of their families, especially for routine work. Enhanced training to address these unprecedented working conditions, backed up by the supplies and infrastructure to carry it out, is necessary for the most vulnerable workers. If personal vehicles are used to get to job sites and maintain social distancing, the City should assume the related liability.
3. Provide equal and safe working conditions for every employee.Eliminate Category-18 and other vulnerable hiring statuses, and make these workers permanent employees. San Francisco should be leading the way on equality for all, not promoting second class citizenship for some. No retaliation against any employee.
We call on City and PUC leaders to take these necessary measures to protect City workers, their families, and their communities!
Twitter
Facebook
Website

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Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire, The Lasting Effects of War Book Discussion, Sir, No Sir Viewing, VFP's Online Convention, Workshop Proposals, Convention FAQ, No More COVID-19 Money For the Pentagon, Repeal the AUMF, Community Conversation on Hybrid Warfare, St Louis VFP Delivers VA Lunch, In the News and Calendar




Veterans Join Call for a Global Ceasefire 


Veterans For Peace, as a United Nations Department of Global Communication affiliated NGO, is most gratified to see UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres make his plea for a worldwide ceasefire during this global pandemic. 

The first line of the Preamble of the UN's Charter says that they originated to save “succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. But sadly, because the UN was created by the victors of WW2 who remain the powers of the world, and because the UN depends for funding on those same militarily and economically dominant nation-states, primarily the U.S., much more often than not the UN is very quiet on war. 

Please join Veterans For Peace in appealing to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft to support the Secretary General's call for a GLOBAL CEASEFIRE! 


For more information about events go to:

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fa5082af-9325-47a7-901c-710e85091ee1




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Courage to Resist

Support a strong legal defense for National Guard members refusing to deploy against Black Rights Matter protesters!

Dear Friend,
When you are in the Army National Guard, it takes courage to disobey a direct order from the Commander-in-Chief. But after being ordered by President Trump to deploy to cities around the country in preparation to attack and disperse protesters, violating the constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly, that is exactly what some National Guards members have decided to do. And now, facing potential disciplinary action and court martial, they need our support.
Will you support a legal defense for National Guard members who are refusing Trump’s illegal order to attack and endanger peaceful protesters?
After failing to condemn the police murder of George Floyd, which has sparked protests in 430 cities and counting, on June 1 President Trump decided to use military and police to blast peaceful protesters in front of the White House with rubber bullets, noxious gas, and flash bangs. This isn’t an isolated incident. Trump has a history of praising authoritarians who have killed and brutalized protesters Thirty years ago, he even complimented China’s massacre of pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square.
Trump’s threat to send the National Guard to cities around the U.S. to crackdown on protests poses a direct threat to our democracy and freedom of speech. Resisting these orders deserves our respect. But those who are willing to disobey these orders need your support now to fight back against the threat of court martial and imprisonment.
Your contribution can help the young men and women fighting back against Trump’s illegal orders to resist court martial and imprisonment. Take action today!
One young man who is resisting Trump’s orders originally joined the National Guard with hopes to join medical missions assisting in natural disasters. Now he says, “I can’t do it. Even looking at my uniform is making me feel sick that I’m associated with this, especially after [the National Guard unit] shot that man who owned that barbecue shop [in Louisville, Kentucky].” He added, “I live with the history of Kent State. I’m not being a part of that,” referring to a 1970 incident in which the National Guard shot and killed students who were peacefully protesting the Vietnam War.
The weapons that police and the National Guard are today being instructed to use against protesters, like rubber bullets, are classified as “less-lethal” vs. non-lethal, and have already caused serious injury, permanent vision loss, and death. Tear gas, used in recent days across America, is banned internationally as a chemical weapon.
Another National Guard member who is resisting these orders says, “I feel that I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith … No aspect of my training has touched on this subject … We have not had any training or conversation relating to de-escalation tactics.”
We are living in a historic time. From police brutality, to the COVID-19 crisis, to growing economic inequality, to voter suppression there are many reasons for citizens to mobilize to defend our democracy. Trump’s threats to suppress protest are those of an aspiring authoritarian. It’s essential we support those who set a strong example by resisting these orders.
Will you support a strong legal defense for the young men and women refusing Trump’s illegal orders to suppress the Black Lives Matter protests?
Thank you Friend for supporting the troops with the courage to resist!

Please share this link on social media:
https://couragetoresist.org/ng-resisting-fund/
COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT!
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559
www.couragetoresist.org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist

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From Business Insider 2018

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"The biggest block from having society in harmony with the universe is the belief in a lie that says it’s not realistic or humanly possible." 

"If Obama taught me anything it’s that it don’t matter who you vote for in this system. There’s nothing a politician can do that the next one can’t undo. You can’t vote away the ills of society people have to put our differences aside ban together and fight for the greater good, not vote for the lesser evil."

—Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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When faced with the opportunity to do good, I really think it’s the instinct of humanity to do so. It’s in our genetic memory from our earliest ancestors. It’s the altered perception of the reality of what being human truly is that’s been indoctrinated in to every generation for the last 2000 years or more that makes us believe that we are born sinners. I can’t get behind that one. We all struggle with certain things, but I really think that all the “sinful” behavior is learned and wisdom and goodwill is innate at birth.  —Johnny Gould (Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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Support Major Tillery, Friend of Mumia, Innocent, Framed, Now Ill




Major Tillery (with hat) and family


Dear Friends of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia,

Major Tillery, a prisoner at SCI Chester and a friend of Mumia, may have caught the coronavirus. Major is currently under lockdown at SCI Chester, where a coronavirus outbreak is currently taking place. Along with the other prisoners at SCI Chester, he urgently needs your help.

Major was framed by the Pennsylvania District Attorney and police for a murder which took place in 1976. He has maintained his innocence throughout the 37 years he has been incarcerated, of which approximately 20 were spent in solitary confinement. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture has said that 15 days of solitary confinement constitutes torture.

When Mumia had Hepatitis C and was left to die by the prison administration at SCI Mahanoy, Major Tillery was the prisoner who confronted the prison superintendent and demanded that they treat Mumia. (see https://www.justiceformajortillery.org/messing-with-major.html). Although Mumia received medical treatment, the prison retaliated against Major for standing up to the prison administration. He was transferred to another facility, his cell was searched and turned inside out repeatedly, and he lost his job in the prison as a Peer Facilitator.

SCI Chester, where Major is currently incarcerated, has been closed to visitors since mid-March. Fourteen guards and one prisoner are currently reported to be infected with the coronavirus. Because the prison has not tested all the inmates, there is no way to know how many more inmates have coronavirus. Major has had a fever, chills and a sore throat for several nights. Although Major has demanded testing for himself and all prisoners, the prison administration has not complied.

For the past ten days, there has been no cleaning of the cell block. It has been weeks since prisoners have been allowed into the yard to exercise. The food trays are simply being left on the floor. There have been no walk-throughs by prison administrators. The prisoners are not allowed to have showers; they are not allowed to have phone calls; and they are not permitted any computer access. 

This coronavirus outbreak at SCI Chester is the same situation which is playing out in California prisons right now, about which the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia, along with other groups, organized a car caravan protest at San Quentin last week. Prisons are enclosed indoor spaces and are already an epicenter of the coronavirus, like meatpacking plants and cruise ships. If large numbers of prisoners are not released, the coronavirus will infect the prisons, as well as surrounding communities, and many prisoners will die. Failing to release large numbers of prisoners at this point is the same as executing them. We call for "No Execution by COVID-19"!

Major is close to 70 years old, and has a compromised liver and immune system, as well as heart problems. He desperately needs your help. 

Please write and call Acting Superintendent Kenneth Eason at:

Kenneth Eason, Acting Superintendent
SCI Chester
500 E. 4th St.
Chester, PA 19013

Telephone: (610) 490-5412

Email: keason@pa.gov (Prison Superintendent). maquinn@pa.gov (Superintendent's Assistant)
Please also call the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at:Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Telephone: (717) 737-4531
This telephone number is for SCI Camp Hill, which is the current number for DOC.
Reference Major's inmate number: AM 9786

Email: ra-contactdoc@pa.gov
Demand that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections immediately:

1) Provide testing for all inmates and staff at SCI Chester;
2) Disinfect all cells and common areas at SCI Chester, including sinks, toilets, eating areas and showers;
3) Provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for all inmates at SCI Chester;
4) Provide access to showers for all prisoners at SCI Chester, as a basic hygiene measure;
5) Provide yard access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
6) Provide phone and internet access to all prisoners at SCI Chester;
7) Immediately release prisoners from SCI Chester, including Major Tillery, who already suffers from a compromised immune system, in order to save their lives from execution by COVID-19.

It has been reported that prisoners are now receiving shower access. However, please insist that prisoners be given shower access and that all common areas are disinfected.


In solidarity,

The Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal




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Kiah Morris

May 7 at 6:44 AM

So, in MY lifetime....

Black people are so tired. 😓

We can’t go jogging (#AhmaudArbery).

We can’t relax in the comfort of our own homes (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).

We can't ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).

We can't have a cellphone (#StephonClark).

We can't leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).

We can't play loud music (#JordanDavis).

We can’t sell CD's (#AltonSterling).

We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)

We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).

We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).

We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).

We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).

We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).

We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).

We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).

We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).

We can't break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).

We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)p^p.

We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).

We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).

We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).

We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).

We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).

We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).

We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).

We can’t run (#WalterScott).

We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).

We can’t live (#FreddieGray).

We’re tired.

Tired of making hashtags.

Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.

Tired of dying.

Tired.

Tired.
Tired.
So very tired.
(I don’t know who created this. I just know there are so many more names to be added and names we may never hear of.)

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Friday post   Hate%2BSocialism

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The American way of life was designed by white supremacists in favor patriarchal white supremacy, who have had at least a 400 year head start accumulating wealth, out of generations filled with blood sweat and tears of oppressed people. The same people who are still on the front lines and in the crosshairs of patriarchal white-supremacist capitalism today. There's no such thing as equality without a united revolutionary front to dismantle capitalism and design a worldwide socialist society.

—Johnny Gould

(Follow @tandino415 on Instagram)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

National Solidarity Events to Amplify Prisoners Human Rights 

AUGUST 21 - SEPTEMBER 9th

To all in solidarity with the Prisoners Human Rights Movement:

We are reaching out to those that have been amplifying our voices in these state, federal, or immigration jails and prisons, and to allies that uplifted the national prison strike demands in 2018. We call on you again to organize the communities from August 21st - September 9th, 2020, by hosting actions, events, and demonstrations that call for prisoner human rights and the end to prison slavery.

We must remind the people and legal powers in this nation that prisoners' human rights are a priority. If we aren't moving forward, we're moving backward. For those of us in chains, backward is not an option. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Some people claim that prisoners' human rights have advanced since the last national prison strike in 2018. We strongly disagree. But due to prisoners organizing inside and allies organizing beyond the walls, solidarity with our movement has increased. The only reason we hear conversations referencing prison reforms in every political campaign today is because of the work of prison organizers and our allies! But as organizers in prisons, we understand this is not enough. Just as quickly as we've gained ground, others are already funding projects and talking points to set back those advances. Our only way to hold our ground while moving forward is to remind people where we are and where we are headed.

On August 21 - September 9, we call on everyone in solidarity with us to organize an action, a panel discussion, a rally, an art event, a film screening, or another kind of demonstration to promote prisoners' human rights. Whatever is within your ability, we ask that you shake the nation out of any fog they may be in about prisoners' human rights and the criminal legal system (legalized enslavement).

During these solidarity events, we request that organizers amplify immediate issues prisoners in your state face, the demands from the National Prison Strike of 2018, and uplift Jailhouse Lawyers Speak new International Law Project.

We've started the International Law Project to engage the international community with a formal complaint about human rights abuses in U.S. prisons. This project will seek prisoners' testimonials from across the country to establish a case against the United States Prison Industrial Slave Complex on international human rights grounds.

Presently working on this legally is the National Lawyers Guild's Prisoners Rights Committee, and another attorney, Anne Labarbera. Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP), and I am We Prisoners Advocacy Network/Millions For Prisoners are also working to support these efforts. The National Lawyers Guild Prisoners' Rights Committee (Jenipher R. Jones, Esq. and Audrey Bomse) will be taking the lead on this project.

The National Prison Strike Demands of 2018 have not changed.. As reflected publicly by the recent deaths of Mississippi prisoners, the crisis in this nation's prisons persist. Mississippi prisons are on national display at the moment of this writing, and we know shortly afterward there will be another Parchman in another state with the same issues. The U.S. has demonstrated a reckless disregard for human lives in cages.

The prison strike demands were drafted as a path to alleviate the dehumanizing process and conditions people are subjected to while going through this nation's judicial system. Following up on these demands communicates to the world that prisoners are heard and that prisoners' human rights are a priority.

In the spirit of Attica, will you be in the fight to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex by pushing agendas that will shut down jails and prisons like Rikers Island or Attica? Read the Attica Rebellion demands and read the National Prison Strike 2018 demands. Ask yourself what can you do to see the 2018 National Prison Strike demands through.

SHARE THIS RELEASE FAR AND WIDE WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS!

We rage with George Jackson's "Blood in my eyes" and move in the spirit of the Attica Rebellion!

August 21st - September 9th, 2020

AGITATE, EDUCATE, ORGANIZE

Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

We are--

"Jailhouse Lawyers Speak"  

NLG EMAIL CONTACT FOR LAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROJECT: micjlsnlg@gmail.com

PRISON STRIKE DEMANDS:  https://jailhouselawyerspeak.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/prisoners-national-demands-for-human-rights/  

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Stop Kevin Cooper's Abuse by San Quentin Prison Guards!

https://www.change.org/p/san-quentin-warden-ronald-davis-stop-kevin-cooper-s-abuse-by-san-quentin-prison-guards-2ace89a7-a13e-44ab-b70c-c18acbbfeb59?recruiter=747387046&recruited_by_id=3ea6ecd0-69ba-11e7-b7ef-51d8e2da53ef&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard&use_react=false puTHCIdZoZCFjjb-800x450-noPad On Wednesday, September 25, Kevin Cooper's cell at San Quentin Prison was thrown into disarray and his personal food dumped into the toilet by a prison guard, A. Young. The cells on East Block Bayside, where Kevin's cell is, were all searched on September 25 during Mandatory Yard. Kevin spent the day out in the yard with other inmates.. In a letter, Kevin described what he found when he returned: "This cage was hit hard, like a hurricane was in here .. .... . little by little I started to clean up and put my personal items back inside the boxes that were not taken .... .. .. I go over to the toilet, lift up the seatcover and to my surprise and shock the toilet was completely filled up with my refried beans, and my brown rice. Both were in two separate cereal bags and both cereal bags were full. The raisin bran cereal bags were gone, and my food was in the toilet!" A bucket was eventually brought over and: "I had to get down on my knees and dig my food out of the toilet with my hands so that I could flush the toilet. The food, which was dried refried beans and dried brown rice had absorbed the water in the toilet and had become cement hard. It took me about 45 minutes to get enough of my food out of the toilet before it would flush." Even the guard working the tier at the time told Kevin, "K.C.., that is f_cked up!" A receipt was left in Kevin's cell identifying the guard who did this as A... Young. Kevin has never met Officer A...... Young, and has had no contact with him besides Officer Young's unprovoked act of harassment and psychological abuse... Kevin Cooper has served over 34 years at San Quentin, fighting for exoneration from the conviction for murders he did not commit. It is unconscionable for him to be treated so disrespectfully by prison staff on top of the years of his incarceration. No guard should work at San Quentin if they cannot treat prisoners and their personal belongings with basic courtesy and respect................. Kevin has filed a grievance against A. Young.. Please: 1) Sign this petition calling on San Quentin Warden Ronald Davis to grant Kevin's grievance and discipline "Officer" A. Young.. 2) Call Warden Ronald Davis at: (415) 454-1460 Ext. 5000. Tell him that Officer Young's behaviour was inexcusable, and should not be tolerated........ 3) Call Yasir Samar, Associate Warden of Specialized Housing, at (415) 455-5037 4) Write Warden Davis and Lt. Sam Robinson (separately) at: Main Street San Quentin, CA 94964 5) Email Lt. Sam Robinson at: samuel.robinson2@cdcr.......................ca.gov

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Letters of support for clemency needed for Reality Winner 

Reality Winner, a whistleblower who helped expose foreign hacking of US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election, has been behind bars since June 2017. Supporters are preparing to file a petition of clemency in hopes of an early release... Reality's five year prison sentence is by far the longest ever given for leaking information to the media about a matter of public interest..............

Stand with Reality shirts, stickers, and more available. Please take a moment to sign the letter SIGN THE LETTER 

Support Reality Podcast: "Veterans need to tell their stories" – Dan Shea Vietnam War combat veteran Daniel Shea on his time in Vietnam and the impact that Agent Orange and post traumatic stress had on him and his family since...

 Listen now This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous individuals featured.. If you believe this history is important, please ... DONATE NOW 
to support these podcasts

COURAGE TO RESIST ~ SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT! 484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559 www.....................couragetoresist..org ~ facebook.com/couragetoresist 

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c04758efab450303611bf2bb1b2dd96a5d550b8c

Board Game

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/race-for-solidarity


Solidarity against racism has existed from the 1600's and continues until today

An exciting board game of chance, empathy and wisdom, that entertains and educates as it builds solidarity through learning about the destructive history of American racism and those who always fought back. Appreciate the anti-racist solidarity of working people, who built and are still building, the great progressive movements of history.. There are over 200 questions, with answers and references.

Spread the word!!

By Dr.... Nayvin Gordon

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50 years in prison:  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! FREE Chip Fitzgerald  Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend former Black Panther                
Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald has been in prison since he was locked up 50 years ago...... A former member of the Black Panther Party, Chip is now 70 years old, and suffering the consequences of a serious stroke. He depends on a wheelchair for his mobility. He has appeared before the parole board 17 times, but they refuse to release him.. NOW is the time for Chip to come home! In September 1969, Chip and two other Panthers were stopped by a highway patrolman..... During the traffic stop, a shooting broke out, leaving Chip and a police officer both wounded. Chip was arrested a month later and charged with attempted murder of the police and an unrelated murder of a security guard. Though the evidence against him was weak and Chip denied any involvement, he was convicted and sentenced to death. In 1972, the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty.......... Chip and others on Death Row had their sentences commuted to Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. All of them became eligible for parole after serving 7 more years...... But Chip was rejected for parole, as he has been ever since.  Parole for Lifers basically stopped under Governors Deukmajian, Wilson, and Davis (1983-2003), resulting in increasing numbers of people in prison and 23 new prisons. People in prison filed lawsuits in federal courts: people were dying as a result of the overcrowding.. To rapidly reduce the number of people in prison, the court mandated new parole hearings: ·        for anyone 60 years or older who had served 25 years or more; ·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old; ·        for anyone with disabilities  Chip qualified for a new parole hearing by meeting all three criteria. But the California Board of Parole Hearings has used other methods to keep Chip locked up. Although the courts ordered that prison rule infractions should not be used in parole considerations, Chip has been denied parole because he had a cellphone.......... Throughout his 50 years in prison, Chip has been denied his right to due process – a new parole hearing as ordered by Federal courts. He is now 70, and addressing the challenges of a stroke victim. His recent rules violation of cellphone possession were non-violent and posed no threat to anyone. He has never been found likely to commit any crimes if released to the community – a community of his children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues who are ready to support him and welcome him home. The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage..... We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately. What YOU can do to support this campaign to FREE CHIP: 1)   Sign and circulate the petition to FREE Chip. Download it at https://www.change.org/p/california-free-chip-fitzgerald Print out the petition and get signatures at your workplace, community meeting, or next social gathering. 2)   Write an email to Governor Newsom's office (sample message at:https://docs..google.com/document/d/1iwbP_eQEg2J1T2h-tLKE-Dn2ZfpuLx9MuNv2z605DMc/edit?usp=sharing 3)   Write to Chip:   Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527, CSP-LAC P.O. Box 4490 B-4-150 Lancaster, CA 93539 -- Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863...................9977 https://freedomarchives.org/

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On Abortion: From Facebook
Best explanation I've heard so far......., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..................., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question.... However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not..., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v.. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973).. Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you.. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent..... It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional.... This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save...., , That's the law.., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily.............. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong............ That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees....... But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy..., , She may choose to carry the baby to term..... She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between... But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side... Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means....", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y Sent from my iPhone

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Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa 150bb949-a203-4101-a307-e2c8bf5391b6 
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release
63cefff3-ac06-4c55-bdf9-b0ee1d2ce336 Jalil A...... Muntaqim was a member of the Black Panther Party and has been a political prisoner for 48 years since he was arrested at the age of 19 in 1971. He has been denied parole 11 times since he was first eligible in 2002, and is now scheduled for his 12th parole hearing... Additionally, Jalil has filed to have his sentence commuted to time served by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Visit Jalil's support page, check out his writing and poetry, and Join Critical Resistance in supporting a vibrant intergenerational movement of freedom fighters in demanding his release. 48 years is enough. Write, email, call, and tweet at Governor Cuomo in support of Jalil's commutation and sign this petition demanding his release. 
http://freedomarchives.org/Support...Jalil/Campaign.html
Write: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of the State of New York Executive Chamber State Capital Building Albany, New York 12224 Michelle Alexander – Author, The New Jim Crow; Ed Asner - Actor and Activist; Charles Barron - New York Assemblyman, 60th District; Inez Barron - Counci member, 42nd District, New York City Council; Rosa Clemente - Scholar Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate; Patrisse Cullors – Co-Founder Black Lives Matter, Author, Activist; Elena Cohen - President, National Lawyers Guild; "Davey D" Cook - KPFA Hard Knock Radio; Angela Davis - Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Native American historian, writer and feminist; Mike Farrell - Actor and activist; Danny Glover – Actor and activist; Linda Gordon - New York University; Marc Lamont Hill - Temple University; Jamal Joseph - Columbia University; Robin D.G. Kelley - University of California, Los Angeles; Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine; Imani Perry - Princeton University; Barbara Ransby - University of Illinois, Chicago; Boots Riley - Musician, Filmmaker; Walter Riley - Civil rights attorney; Dylan Rodriguez - University of California, Riverside, President American Studies Association; Maggie Siff, Actor; Heather Ann Thompson - University of Michigan; Cornel West - Harvard University; Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only.
Call: 1-518-474-8390 Email Gov.Cuomo with this form Tweet at @NYGovCuomo               
Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as: ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

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Funds for Kevin Cooper

https://www.gofundme.....com/funds-for-kevin-cooper?member=1994108 For 34 years, an innocent man has been on death row in California..  Kevin Cooper was wrongfully convicted of the brutal 1983 murders of the Ryen family and houseguest. The case has a long history of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering, and numerous constitutional violations including many incidences of the prosecution withholding evidence of innocence from the defense. You can learn more here .....  In December 2018 Gov. Brown ordered  limited DNA testing and in February 2019, Gov..... Newsom ordered additional DNA testing. Meanwhile, Kevin remains on Death Row at San Quentin Prison..  The funds raised will be used to help Kevin purchase art supplies for his paintings ......... Additionally, being in prison is expensive, and this money would help Kevin pay for stamps, paper, toiletries, supplementary food, and/or phone calls........ Please help ease the daily struggle of an innocent man on death row!

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Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state.......... Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority... We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested.  Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning... The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West.....  Sign now! The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible... They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him........... Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger... The world is still watching. Sign now! [1] https://www..nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks.....html [2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/ Sign this petitionhttps://internal.diem25.....org/en/petitions/1 

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Words of Wisdom LouisRobinsonJr77yrsold 

Louis Robinson Jr., 77 Recording secretary for Local 1714 of the United Auto Workers from 1999 to 2018, with the minutes from a meeting of his union's retirees' chapter.
"One mistake the international unions in the United States made was when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When he did that, the unions could have brought this country to a standstill...... All they had to do was shut down the truck drivers for a month, because then people would not have been able to get the goods they needed. So that was one of the mistakes they made. They didn't come together as organized labor and say: "No.... We aren't going for this......... Shut the country down." That's what made them weak. They let Reagan get away with what he did. A little while after that, I read an article that said labor is losing its clout, and I noticed over the years that it did.. It happened... It doesn't feel good..." [On the occasion of the shut-down of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant March 6, 2019.........] https://www.......nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/01/magazine/lordstown-general-motors-plant...html

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Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg 

Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more...  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018..  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:
Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S............ Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102 Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement. Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more. In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name..  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up. 
Who to contact: TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier Phone: (936)295-6371 Email:  exec.director@tdcj.texas.....gov Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit) Phone: (361) 362-2300

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Articles:

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1) How Rayshard Brooks Was Fatally Shot by the Atlanta Police
One officer has been fired and another placed on administrative duty. A Times video analysis shows the sequence of events leading to the fatal shooting.
By Malachy Browne and Christina Kelso, June 14, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/us/videos-rayshard-brooks-shooting-atlanta-police.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Police officers in Atlanta performed a sobriety test on Rayshard Brooks late Friday. Mr. Brooks was fatally shot while fleeing the scene after a tussle with the officers.Credit...Kiara Owens, via Facebook

The Atlanta Police Department said early Sunday that an officer had been fired over the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s restaurant. The officer, Garrett Rolfe, who had worked with the department since 2013, fired his handgun three times while he was chasing Mr. Brooks, who the authorities said had seized a Taser from an officer and fired it as he ran. Another officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, who has been with the department for less than two years, was placed on administrative duty.

The Times analyzed eyewitness videos and security camera footage of the events to determine what happened in the minutes preceding Mr. Brooks’s death. We synchronized the footage to determine precisely when Officer Rolfe fired his gun, and we reviewed other details of the shooting released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how events unfolded:

At 10:33 p.m. Friday, police officers were called to Wendy’s restaurant at 125 University Ave. in South Atlanta. Mr. Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle, which was parked in the drive-through, causing other customers to drive around him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The chronology below uses the time-stamp displayed on security camera footage recorded at Wendy’s, which was released by the bureau. We have been unable to confirm whether the security camera’s time-stamp is correct.

10:54 p.m. Officer Brosnan is already at the scene when Officer Rolfe pulls up in an S.U.V. Officer Rolfe exits the driver’s side of the vehicle and joins Officer Brosnan.

Officer Brosnan and Officer Rolfe are at the scene for at least 25 minutes before the shooting happens. They perform a sobriety test on Mr. Brooks, as we can see in this video filmed by a witness, who was in line at the drive-through.

11:22 p.m. According to the G.B.I., Mr. Brooks failed the sobriety test, and the officers attempted to take him into custody. Less than a minute later, Mr. Brooks was shot.

Video filmed by another witness shows Mr. Brooks grappling with the officers on the ground. He seizes a Taser from Officer Brosnan, stands up and punches Officer Rolfe. Officer Rolfe fires his Taser gun three times. The darts hit Mr. Brooks, and Officer Rolfe continues trying to stun him.

Mr. Brooks runs away, holding Officer Brosnan’s Taser gun. Officer Rolfe gives chase, and continues to try to stun Mr. Brooks.

The security camera footage filmed at Wendy’s shows Officer Rolfe chasing Mr. Brooks. In seconds, Officer Rolfe passes his Taser from his right hand to his left hand, and reaches for his handgun.

While being chased, and in full stride, Mr. Brooks looks behind him, points the Taser he is holding in Officer Rolfe’s direction and fires it. The flash of the Taser suggests that Mr. Brooks did not fire it with any real accuracy.

Officer Rolfe discards the Taser he is carrying, draws his handgun and fires it three times at Mr. Brooks as he is running away. Mr. Brooks falls to the ground. Warning: this footage is disturbing.

11:23 p.m. For the next minute, Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan stand over Mr. Brooks, who is injured but moving on the ground, and occasionally reach down to him. Officer Brosnan appears to use his radio. Neither officer appears to provide medical assistance to Mr. Brooks. Another police car arrives at the scene.

11:24 p.m. Another video shows Officer Rolfe running back to his S.U.V. and calling for help over his radio. Bystanders denounce the shooting to a third police officer who is at the scene.

11:25 p.m Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan begin to provide medical treatment. Officer Rolfe appears to unroll a bandage and place it on Mr. Brooks’s torso.

11:30 p.m. An ambulance arrives. Eight minutes later, Mr. Brooks is taken to a hospital, where he dies after surgery.

Muyi Xiao contributed research.

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2) From Cosmetics to NASCAR, Calls for Racial Justice Are Spreading
What started as a renewed push for police reform has now touched seemingly every aspect of American life.
By Amy Harmon, Apoorva Mandavilli, Sapna Maheshwari and Jodi Kantor, June 13, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/us/george-floyd-racism-america.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Protesters marching through Manhattan on Monday.Credit...Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

The reckonings have been swift and dizzying.

On Monday, it was the dictionary, with Merriam-Webster saying it was revising its entry on racism to illustrate the ways in which it “can be systemic.”

On Tuesday, the University of Washington removed the coach of its dance team after the only two black members of the group were cut. The two women were invited to return.

On Wednesday, after a black racecar driver called on NASCAR to ban the Confederate battle flag from its events, the organization did just that.

On Thursday, Nike joined a wave of American companies that have made Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in America, an official paid holiday, “to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.”

And on Friday, ABC Entertainment named the franchise’s first black man to star in “The Bachelor” in the show’s 18-year history, acceding to longstanding demands from fans.

In just under three weeks since the killing of George Floyd set off widespread protests, what started as a renewed demand for police reform has now roiled seemingly every sphere of American life, prompting institutions and individuals around the country to confront enduring forms of racial discrimination.

Many black Americans have been inundated with testaments and queries from white friends about fighting racism. And anti-racist activists have watched with some amazement as powerful white leaders and corporations acknowledge concepts like “structural racism’’ and pledge to make sweeping changes in personal and institutional behavior.

But those who have been in the trenches for decades fighting racism in America wonder how lasting the soul searching will be.

The flood of corporate statements denouncing racism “feels like a series of mea culpas written by the press folks and run by the top black folks” inside each organization, said Dream Hampton, a writer and filmmaker. “Show us a picture of your C-suite, who is on your board. Then we can have a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion.”

“Stop sending positive vibes,’’ begged Chad Sanders, a writer, in a recent New York Times Op-Ed, directing his white friends to instead help protect black protesters, donate to black politicians and funds fighting racial injustice, and urge others to do the same.

The protests have so far yielded some tangible changes in policing itself. On Friday, New York banned the use of chokeholds by law enforcement and repealed a law that kept police disciplinary records secret.

But their power is also cultural. A run on books about racism has reordered best-seller lists, driving titles like “How to Be an Antiracist’’ and “White Fragility’’ to the top. And language about American racial dynamics that was once the purview of academia and activism appears to have gone mainstream.

In a video released June 5 apologizing for the N.F.L.’s previous failure to support players who protested police violence, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the league, condemned the “systematic oppression” of black people, a term used to convey that racism is embedded in the policies of public and private institutions. The Denver Board of Education, in voting to end its contract with the city police department for school resource officers, cited a desire to avoid the “perpetuation of the school-to-prison pipeline,” a reference to how school policies can lay the groundwork for the incarceration of young black Americans.

“One of the exhilarating things about this moment is that black people are articulating to the world that this isn’t just an issue of the state literally killing us, it’s also about psychic death,’’ said Jeremy O. Harris, a playwright whose “Slave Play” addresses the failure of white liberals to admit their complicity in America’s ongoing racial inequities.

He added, “It’s exhilarating because for the first time, in a macro sense, people are saying names and showing up and showing receipts.’’

Sensing a rare, and perhaps fleeting, opportunity to be heard, many black Americans are sharing painful stories on social media about racism and mistreatment in the workplace, accounts that some said they were too scared to disclose before. They are using hashtags like #BlackInTheIvory or #WeSeeYouWAT, referring to bias in academia and “White American Theater.”

The feeling of a dam breaking has drawn analogies to the fall and winter of 2017, when sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein triggered a deluge of disturbing accounts from women and provoked frank conversations in which friends, colleagues and neighbors confessed to one another: I’ve suffered in that manner as well. Or: I now realize I have wronged someone, and I’d like to do better.

Though racism is hardly a secret, “a huge awakening is just the awareness of people who don’t face the headwinds,” said Drew Dixon, a music producer, activist and subject of the documentary “On the Record,” about her decision to come forward with rape allegations against the music producer Russell Simmons, which he has denied. “Many people had no idea what women deal with every single day, and I think many non-black people had no idea what black people deal with every day.”

A shift in the making

While the outpouring may seem sudden, there have been signs that perceptions on race were already in flux.

Opinion polls over the last decade have shown a self-reported turn by Democrats toward a more sympathetic view of black Americans, with more attributing disparities in areas like income and education to discrimination rather than personal failure. By 2018, white liberals said they felt more positively about blacks, Latinos and Asians than they did about whites.

The reason for the shift is unclear — and those attitudes have so far not translated into desegregated schools or neighborhoods — but may help explain the cascade of responses to Mr. Floyd’s killing.

The outpouring is also related to the horrific nature of Mr. Floyd’s death — a white police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes — captured in a stark video at a moment of rising national frustration with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown.

The protests still surging through the streets of America’s cities, said the civil rights movement scholar Aldon Morris, are “unprecedented in terms of the high levels of white participation in a movement targeting black oppression and grievances.”

Younger Americans are also much more racially diverse than earlier generations. They tend to have different views on race. And their imprint on society is only growing.

Brands trying to appeal to younger consumers have in recent years increasingly proclaimed their belief in equality and justice. Two years ago, Nike featured in a major ad campaign the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest racism. The tagline for MAC, the cosmetics company, is “All Ages, All Races, All Genders.”

In the wake of the Floyd protests, everyone from Wall Street C.E.O.s and the sportswear giant Adidas to the fruit snack Gushers and a company that sells stun guns put out statements of support of diversity, flooding Instagram with vague messages.

These prompted cries of hypocrisy from those who said the companies don’t practice the values they’re espousing.

At several companies, what employees saw as an inadequate response to Mr. Floyd’s death seemed to serve as a catalyst for a long-simmering contention over questions of racial equity. At Adidas, dozens of employees stopped working to attend daily protests outside the company’s North American headquarters in Portland, Ore.

The tumult has been especially fraught at Estée Lauder, the beauty giant, stemming from the political donations of Ronald S. Lauder, a 76-year-old board member and a son of the company’s founders. He has also been a prominent supporter of President Trump.

On May 29, employees at Estée Lauder, like those in much of the rest of corporate America, began receiving emails from the company’s leadership addressing racial discrimination.

There was “considerable pain” in black communities, one missive noted. According to copies of the internal communications obtained by The New York Times, the company, whose vast portfolio includes Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown, La Mer and Aveda, encouraged employees to pause working on June 2 in honor of “Blackout Tuesday.”

At a video meeting on June 4 among an internal group called NOBLE, or Network of Black Leaders and Executives, company leaders said Estée Lauder was donating $1 million to support racial and social justice organizations. But employees pinpointed Mr. Lauder’s political donations to Mr. Trump as being in conflict with the company’s stance on race. The president has tweeted conspiracy theories about injured protesters, described demonstrators as “THUGS,” and praised most law enforcement officers as “great people.”

Employees left dissatisfied. Later that night, a petition appeared on Change.org.

The company’s donation did “not match, or exceed Ronald Lauder’s personal donations in support of state-sanctioned violence,” organizers of the petition, which has amassed more than 6,000 signatures, wrote. “Ronald Lauder’s involvement with the Estée Lauder Companies is damaging to our corporate values, our relationship with the Black community, our relationship with this company’s Black employees, and this company’s legacy.”

In his first public comment on the situation, Mr. Lauder told The Times in a statement Friday that he had spent decades “fighting anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry in all its forms in New York and around the world as president of the World Jewish Congress.”

“As a country, we must recommit ourselves to the fight against anti-Semitism and racism,” he said. “In this urgent moment of change, I am expanding the scope of my anti-Semitism campaign to include causes for racial justice, especially in the Black community, as well as other forms of dangerous ethnic and religious intolerance around the world.”

On Monday, Estée Lauder said it would donate $5 million in coming weeks to “support racial and social justice and to continue to support greater access to education,” and donate an additional $5 million over the following two years.

Other companies have also pledged money. On Thursday alone, PayPal, Apple and YouTube collectively pledged $730 million to racial justice and equity efforts.

Jobs on the line

As companies face restive employees, pressure has also grown to remove those who have made offensive statements. Others have had to apologize publicly. Adam Rapoport resigned as editor in chief of the magazine Bon Appétit on Monday after a 2004 photo showing him in an offensive costume resurfaced on social media.

And Greg Glassman, the founder and chief executive of CrossFit, stepped down on Tuesday following comments about race and racism on a Zoom call to gym owners.

“We’re not mourning for George Floyd, I don’t think me or any of my staff are,” said Mr. Glassman on the Zoom call, according to a recording of the call provided to The Times.

“Can you tell me why I should mourn for him?” he said. “Other than it’s the ‘white’ thing to do. I get that pressure, but give me another reason.”

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast that includes the NBC broadcast network and cable channels like Bravo, has encountered fires on multiple fronts as the reckoning has swept the country.

For NBC, the problems started the morning after Mr. Floyd’s death, when Jimmy Fallon found himself under attack on Twitter for performing in blackface on “Saturday Night Live” in 2000. A video of the sketch had resurfaced online. Mr. Fallon, who has been an NBC star for 22 years, first at “SNL” and more recently leading the “Tonight” show, issued a written apology that afternoon. He apologized at length on camera the following day.

On June 2, a writer was fired from an upcoming NBC series, “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” after posting photos of himself on Facebook holding a weapon and threatening to “light up” looters.

Then came an explosion from NBCUniversal’s cable division. The hit reality series “Vanderpump Rules,” an anchor tenant on Bravo since 2013, fired four cast members for past racist behavior. Some of the incidents were already known. Others were disclosed on Instagram after Mr. Floyd’s death.

On June 8, Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chief executive, said in a memo to employees that the company would give $75 million to social justice organizations, along with $25 million worth of advertising inventory, including on Sky, its pay-television unit in Britain.

“We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy this complex issue,” Mr. Roberts wrote. “But you have my commitment that our company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform.”

A ‘boiling point’

Late last Saturday night, two women who study black health and communication were talking to each other, for what seemed like the thousandth time, about the racism they have encountered in their careers.

The killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and too many others had brought them to a “boiling point,” recalled one of the women, Joy Melody Woods, a graduate student at Moody College of Communication. But the national conversation was still focused primarily on police brutality.

“That’s not the only system that perpetuates white supremacy,” Ms. Woods said. “There are other systems, and academia is one of those.”

Ms. Woods called on black scholars to begin sharing their experiences using the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory, which her friend Shardé M. Davis, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, had just coined.

The women went to sleep that night, not knowing they had opened the floodgates. The hashtag was trending by Sunday night, and as of Thursday evening had collected nearly 90,000 tweets.

The stories of exclusion, humiliation and hostility were all too familiar. But the difference was that they had mostly been shared behind closed doors. In the past, nonblack colleagues could be sympathetic but were more often dismissive or worse, sometimes labeling a black colleague as “difficult.”

“What feels different this time is that white folks are listening,” Dr. Davis said.

Particularly important, she and others said, is that white scholars seem to be having conversations about racism in their institutions without a black colleague around to prompt or guide them.

“You need to be willing to get in the mix and have the conversation and not expect us to hold your hand through the whole thing — and so maybe that’s something that is beginning to gain momentum,” said Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist and feminist scholar at the University of New Hampshire.

There’s a tendency among nonblack scholars to view their black colleagues as exempt from police brutality and violent hate crimes. But, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein said, “That sense of safety isn’t real — our Ph.D.s are not bulletproof.”

The danger is particularly acute for black naturalists, as shown in the recent incident with Christian Cooper, the birder in Central Park who asked a white woman to leash her dog, only to have her call 911.

“Our job means going into the field and being visible and moving in spaces that are not always welcoming to us,” said Earyn McGee, a herpetologist and birder at the University of Arizona. “We understood what the danger was.”

The viral video prompted Ms. McGee and others to organize #BlackBirdersWeek. Jeffrey Ward, a co-organizer and well-known birder, said he always keeps his binoculars visible to reassure people who act fearful when they see him. After two police officers followed and questioned him two years ago at Crotona Park in the Bronx, he recalled, he told some white friends. They were sympathetic then, but seem to better grasp the breadth and gravity of systemic racism now, he said.

“They reached out to me and said, ‘We didn’t understand it was this serious. We apologize for not listening to you before.’”

Dr. Prescod-Weinstein was one of several researchers who called for a strike on Wednesday to protest racism in science. Nearly 6,000 scientists, professional societies and institutions pledged to join.

But she also noted that academic institutions are unrelentingly hierarchical and resistant to change.

As a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T., Dr. Prescod-Weinstein was the only black physicist with a Ph.D. in a department of about 100. Students of color sought her out for advice and mentoring, she said — unpaid labor that she was never recognized or compensated for — and they felt the pressure of having to represent their entire race.

“That kind of pressure is extraordinary,” she said.

Inequity in universities manifests at multiple levels. Black academics are disproportionately hired to positions with weaker long-term prospects. They receive fewer grants, and their papers are cited less often.

Changing these systems will take “an incredible amount of energy at the right pressure points in the system,” said Dr. Kafui Dzirasa, a psychiatrist at Duke University.

For any system — say, applying for grants from the National Institutes of Health — making things more equitable would come at a cost, either to the system or to nonblack applicants. “And that’s the cost that it’s unclear if the system is ready to take on,” Dr. Dzirasa said.

Dr. Davis was more blunt.

“We’ve received nothing but empty platitudes and empty promises, and the wound just scabs right back up,” she said. “We’re walking around in institutions with a whole bunch of Band-Aids and scabbed-over wounds. Enough, enough.”

Brooks Barnes contributed reporting. Susan Beachy contributed research.



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3) A Black Man Was Found Hanging From a Tree, and a Community Demands Answers
Robert Fuller’s sister said on Saturday that the initial determination by officials that her brother died by suicide did not make sense.
By Michael Levenson and Jenny Gross, June 13, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/us/robert-fuller-death-palmdale.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Mr. Robert L. Fuller’s death was initially deemed a suicide by officials, but protesters are calling for an independent investigation. Credit...via GoFundMe.com

City officials in Palmdale, Calif., said on Saturday that they support calls by activists and residents who have demanded an independent investigation into the death of a 24-year-old black man who was found hanging from a tree in a public square this week.

The death of the man, Robert L. Fuller, which officials initially deemed a suicide, has deeply shaken the city in northern Los Angeles County and has reverberated far beyond amid nationwide protests against racism that were set off by the death of George Floyd.

At a rally for Mr. Fuller on Saturday, his sister, Diamond Alexander, said that the initial determination by officials that her brother hanged himself did not make sense.

“Everything that they’ve been telling us has not been right,” she said, according to video of the rally in Palmdale. “We’ve been hearing one thing. Then we hear another. And we just want to know the truth.”

She added: “My brother was not suicidal. He wasn’t.”

Hundreds of people marched and held signs that read, “Justice for Robert Fuller” and “Black Lives Matter.” Protesters called out: “Say his name!” and the crowd chanted, “Robert Fuller.”

A passer-by found Mr. Fuller’s body hanging from a tree in Poncitlán Square, across from Palmdale City Hall, at around 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Personnel from a nearby fire station responded and determined that Mr. Fuller was dead, the department said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office also responded.

“Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears Mr. Fuller, tragically, committed suicide,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on Friday, adding that a full autopsy was expected soon.

The city of Palmdale said in a statement on Saturday that it was “officially supporting the call for an independent investigation and an independent autopsy” of Mr. Fuller.

“The City of Palmdale is joining the family and the community’s call for justice, and we do support a full investigation into his death,” the statement said. “We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter.”

Deputy Sheriff Eric Ortiz, a department spokesman, said on Saturday that the agency had no immediate response to the call by city officials and activists for an independent investigation. He said the Homicide Bureau was continuing to investigate. The county coroner’s office did not immediately respond to messages on Saturday.

After officials released their account of Mr. Fuller’s death this week, it was immediately challenged by activists, residents and people on social media.

At a news conference called by officials at Palmdale City Hall on Friday, residents said they had no faith in the local authorities to properly investigate Mr. Fuller’s death and wanted complete transparency and an independent review.

“Why was it right here in public, in front of City Hall, next to a church, in front of a library?” one woman said. “Why was it like that? Who would do that? No black man would hang himself in public like that.”

Others demanded to know if there were video cameras in the area and to know who found Mr. Fuller.

The Palmdale city manager, J.J. Murphy, said that the city was working with the authorities to identify footage from cameras around the area. There are no city cameras in the park, he said.

Some said the authorities had rushed to judgment without gathering all of the facts.

“That’s a lie!” several people shouted after Capt. Ronald Shaffer of the Sheriff’s Department said it appeared that Mr. Fuller died by suicide.

“Can I also ask that we stop talking about lynchings?” Mr. Murphy said at another point during the news conference, prompting people in attendance to respond, “Hell no!”

Kim Kardashian West, the reality TV star, weighed in on Twitter on Friday, urging her more than 65 million followers to sign a petition to demand a thorough investigation.

“This was not a case of suicide but murder,” reads the petition.

The N.A.A.C.P.’s Antelope Valley branch said in a statement that law enforcement needed to provide answers.

“A grieving family deserves to know if foul play was involved,” the statement said.

Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster, a nearby city, said law enforcement officials told him on Friday that all signs pointed to a suicide, and that there were no signs indicating any other cause of death.

“There were apparently scars on his body consistent with previous attempts,” Mr. Parris said.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Ms. Alexander included a link to a local news story about the body found hanging from a tree.

“Words can’t describe how much my family is hurting right now,” she said in a separate post on Thursday. Ms. Alexander asked for the public’s help, urging anyone who had seen anything to “please come forward.”

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4) Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers, Supreme Court Rules
The court said the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
By Adam Liptak, June 15, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/us/gay-transgender-workers-supreme-court.html

Tiffany Munroe waving a Pride flag during a rally to call attention to violence against transgender people of color in Brooklyn on Sunday. Credit...Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination, handing the movement for L.G.B.T. equality a stunning victory.

The vote was 6 to 3, with Justice Neil M. Gorsuch writing the majority opinion. He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

The case concerned Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex. The question for the justices was whether that last prohibition — discrimination “because of sex”— applies to many millions of gay and transgender workers.

The decision, covering two cases, was the court’s first on L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement in 2018 of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinions in all four of the court’s major gay rights decisions.

Those decisions were grounded in constitutional law. The new cases, by contrast, concerned statutory interpretation.

Lawyers for employers and the Trump administration argued that the common understanding of sex discrimination in 1964 was bias against women or men and did not encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If Congress wanted to protect gay and transgender workers, they said, it could pass a new law.

Lawyers for the workers responded that discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation or transgender status must as a matter of logic take account of sex.

The court considered two sets of cases. The first concerned a pair of lawsuits from gay men who said they were fired because of their sexual orientation. The second was about a suit from a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who said her employer fired her when she announced that she would embrace her gender identity at work.

The cases concerning gay rights are Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618, and Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623.

The first case was filed by Gerald Bostock, a gay man who was fired from a government program that helped neglected and abused children in Clayton County, Ga., just south of Atlanta, after he joined a gay softball league.

The second was brought by a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, who also said he was fired because he was gay. His dismissal followed a complaint from a female customer who had expressed concerns about being strapped to Mr. Zarda during a tandem dive. Mr. Zarda, hoping to reassure the customer, told her that he was “100 percent gay.”

Mr. Zarda died in a 2014 skydiving accident, and his estate pursued his case.

Most federal appeals courts have interpreted Title VII to exclude sexual orientation discrimination. But two of them, in New York and Chicago, have ruled that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is a form of sex discrimination.

In 2018, a divided 13-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, allowed Mr. Zarda’s lawsuit to proceed. Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann concluded that “sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.”

In dissent, Judge Gerard E. Lynch wrote that the words of Title VII did not support the majority’s interpretation.

“Speaking solely as a citizen,” he wrote, “I would be delighted to awake one morning and learn that Congress had just passed legislation adding sexual orientation to the list of grounds of employment discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I am confident that one day — and I hope that day comes soon — I will have that pleasure.”

“I would be equally pleased to awake to learn that Congress had secretly passed such legislation more than a half-century ago — until I actually woke up and realized that I must have been still asleep and dreaming,” Judge Lynch wrote. “Because we all know that Congress did no such thing.”

The case on transgender rights is R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107. It concerns Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Michigan funeral home after she announced in 2013 that she was a transgender woman and would start working in women’s clothing. Ms. Stephens died on May 12.

“What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster,” she wrote to her colleagues in 2013. “I have felt imprisoned in a body that does not match my mind, and this has caused me great despair and loneliness.”

Ms. Stephens had worked at the funeral home for six years. Her colleagues testified that she was able and compassionate.

Two weeks after receiving the letter, the home’s owner, Thomas Rost, fired Ms. Stephens. Asked for the “specific reason that you terminated Stephens,” Mr. Rost said: “Well, because he was no longer going to represent himself as a man. He wanted to dress as a woman.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled for Ms. Stephens. Discrimination against transgender people, the court said, was barred by Title VII.

“It is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex,” the court said, adding, “Discrimination ‘because of sex’ inherently includes discrimination against employees because of a change in their sex.”

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5) An Insatiable Rage
It is an everyday struggle to neither fall into despair nor explode in anger.
By Charles M. Blow, June 14, 2020
Opinion Columnist
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/opinion/us-protests-racism.html
Protesters gathered in Manhattan in support of Black Lives Matter last month. Credit...Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the massive wave of protests that have swept the country and the world, New York State on Friday passed a package of policing reforms, banning chokeholds and opening police disciplinary records, among other things.

After signing the bills into law, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at one of his coronavirus news conferences: “You don’t need to protest, you won. You accomplished your goal. Society says you’re right, the police need systemic reform.”

Cuomo’s statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of this moment.

Yes, the package of bills he signed, and the steps being taken in other cities and states, represent movement in the right direction on the issue of policing, but people aren’t only in the streets because of a single killing or a single issue.

People are marching as a way of screaming, a way of exhaling pain, as an enormous group catharsis.

This isn’t only about the pain of police brutality, it’s about all the pain. This is about all the injustice and disrespect and oppression. This is about ancestry and progeny.

In fact, with every word of solidarity, with every overture by governments and companies, with every new law passed or reform instituted, the cry draws strength, because these actions are all acknowledgment that those in pain have been right all along, that all of their heretofore unheard and unheeded protestations had been wrongfully ignored.

People are in the streets because their backs have too long borne the weight of racism, or because for too long they have averted their eyes from it.

Black people are saying: “See me! See what you have done to me and continue to do to me. Stand naked in your sin, and stare, unflinching, at your reflection. You did this.”

They are saying, “Stop killing us!”

And in that, they mean killing in every conceivable way.

Stop underfunding schools and overfunding police. Stop anti-black bias in all fields, from medicine to employment to entertainment. Stop using 911 calls as a deadly weapon. America, just stop.

And, contrary to what Cuomo might have thought, his package of bills represents a win in only one battle in a larger war.

It took centuries for America to hone its instruments of oppression. Every time part of it fell, it simply re-emerged in a more elegant form.

After slavery was abolished, the black codes were instituted, keeping many restrictions that slavery had enforced and guaranteeing that black people would continue to exist as a cheap source of labor.

After Reconstruction was allowed to fail, Southern states rushed to rewrite their constitutions to institute and codify white supremacy, ushering in Jim Crow.

For instance, at the Louisiana constitutional convention in 1898, Thomas J. Semmes stated that the “mission” of the delegates had been “to establish the supremacy of the white race in this state.” In his closing remarks, E.B. Kruttschnitt, the president of that convention, bemoaned that the delegates had been constrained by the 15th Amendment such that they could not provide “universal white manhood suffrage and the exclusion from the suffrage of every man with a trace of African blood in his veins.”

He went on to proclaim:

“I say to you, that we can appeal to the conscience of the nation, both judicial and legislative, and I don’t believe that they will take the responsibility of striking down the system which we have reared in order to protect the purity of the ballot box and to perpetuate the supremacy of the Anglo–Saxon race in Louisiana.”

This wretched language repeated itself, in some form, at other conventions.

Terror became a tool to keep black people underfoot. Confederate monuments sprang up everywhere, the Ku Klux Klan flourished and lynchings surged.

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, mass incarceration began its climb, accomplishing many of the same things Jim Crow did before — voter disenfranchisement, employment and housing restrictions, and just overall punishment and disrespect.

Racial oppression is infinitely transmutable.

So people are in the streets because they are tired of chopping heads off the hydra. They are tired of fighting this oppression only to see it spring right back, or multiply.

It is exhausting and infuriating and maddening to be forced to fight, always, for what for others is free. It enrages, when you realize that you’re still fighting the same fight that your parents fought, and that their parents fought.

It is an everyday struggle to neither fall into despair nor explode in anger.

So, these people are in the streets, having their moment and having their say. And America would do well to listen and not try to silence them or soothe them.

In fact, America listening and responding to these protests, respecting them, is one of the healthiest things the country can do, because as protester Kimberly Latrice Jones said at the end of her viral video, “They are lucky that what black people are looking for is equality and not revenge.”

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6) These Kids Are Done Waiting for Change
In less than a week, six Nashville teenagers created a march that drew 10,000 peaceful protesters and gave hope to a whole city.
By Margaret Renkl, June 15, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/opinion/nashville-teens-protests.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Teens for Equality at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, TN. From left: Kennedy Green, Emma Rose, Mikayla Smith, Jade Fuller, and Nya Collins. Credit...Kristine Potter for The New York Times

NASHVILLE — In real life, Nya Collins, Jade Fuller, Kennedy Green, Emma Rose Smith, Mikayla Smith and Zee Thomas had never met as a group when they came together on Twitter to organize a youth march against police violence. It was unseasonably hot, even for Middle Tennessee, with rain predicted, and earlier protests here had ended in violence, with the Metro Nashville Courthouse and City Hall in flames. Collectively, these are not the most promising conditions for gathering a big crowd, much less a calm one. But the teenagers were determined to press on, even if hardly anyone showed up.

On June 4, five days later, the founding members of Teens for Equality — as the young women, ages 14 to 16, call their organization — were leading a march of protesters some 10,000 strong, according to police estimates. “I was astonished,” Kennedy Green, 14, told me in a phone interview last week. “I did not know there were that many people in Nashville who actually see a problem with the system. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, there are so many people here who actually care.’”

The protesters, most in their teens and 20s, chanted “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace” and “Not one more” as they marched for more than five hours. There was not one hint of disarray in their ranks, no angry confrontations with National Guardsmen or police officers clad in riot gear.

“As teens, we are desensitized to death because we see videos of black people being killed in broad daylight circulating on social media platforms,” said Zee Thomas, 15, in a speech that opened the march. “As teens, we feel like we cannot make a difference in this world, but we must.”

They already have. The march they organized — with advice from the local chapter of Black Lives Matter — was one of the largest protests against white supremacy in Nashville history. Mayor John Cooper has responded to the protests by announcing that Nashville police officers will begin wearing body cameras next month. The cameras have been long planned and also long delayed, despite strong public support amid an increasingly frayed relationship between the police department and many of the communities they serve.

When these Teens for Equality look around them, what they see is the strength in their numbers and the power of their own voices. Those of us who are long past our own teen years have watched powerful social movements rise and fall. We have seen hard-earned social change walked back by new leaders. We might be forgiven our despair that anything in this magnificent, damaged country will ever change.

But the protests that have risen up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing show every sign of being different. Across the country they have continued unabated, bringing change astonishingly quickly. Readers in large numbers are moving to educate themselves about systemic racism — in just a few weeks demand for books about the topic has surged. White Americans are finally taking a hard look at policing practices in their communities and changing their opinion about the Black Lives Matter movement. Police departments are taking a hard look at themselves, too, banning chokeholds and other life-threatening methods of restraint. This time, “a glorious poetic rage,” as the Minneapolis author and activist Junauda Petrus-Nasah put it, is finally changing the country for good.

The recent protests, Kennedy Green says, have turned her into an optimist: “I mean, when have all 50 states ever done anything together? And all 50 states have marched because of the death of George Floyd and for the Black Lives Matter movement. I do believe in the future because there are a lot of kids who are changing the future, trying to end white supremacy and hatred and racism in America.”

This optimism is founded in more than one hugely successful march. It’s also founded in data: New polling shows that 80 percent, or more, of American adults between the ages of 18 and 29 support Black Lives Matter.

Nya Collins, Jade Fuller, Kennedy Green, Emma Rose Smith, Mikayla Smith and Zee Thomas are not alone. They belong to a long tradition of youth activists that includes the Children’s Crusade of the American civil rights movement; the antiwar activists of the Vietnam era; the Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai; the gun control activists Emma González, David Hogg and other survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.; the Indigenous Canadian clean-water activist Autumn Peltier and the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, just for starters.

These young people are passionate about their causes and unwavering in their commitment to change. The world they have inherited is deeply troubled and desperately flawed, and they see with clear eyes both the errors of earlier generations and the hope of their own. Their power lies in the undeniable moral authority of youth: They did not cause the mess they have inherited, but they are rolling up their sleeves to clean it up.

Above all, they are brave, enduring withering attacks by craven adults who hold no scruple against threatening children. You may argue that these activists are simply too young to understand the risks they are taking, but I think they know exactly what they are doing. What they are too young for is cynicism. What they are too young for is defeat.

They are young enough to imagine a better future, to have faith in their own power to change the world for good. And that faith should give the rest of us more hope than we have had in years.


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7) We’re Feeding America, but We’re Sacrificing Ourselves
Poultry plants continue to run processing lines at a breakneck speed, making it impossible for workers to social distance.
By Jerald Brooks and Lakesha Bailey, June 15, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/opinion/coronavirus-tyson-poultry.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Screen Shot: Tyson Foods poultry plant.

You’re a worker at a Tyson Foods poultry plant and still punching in even though the coronavirus continues to run rampant through meat-processing plants across the country. You’re proud that your job helps keep supermarkets stocked. Your family supports Donald Trump. But the president’s executive order to keep meat plants open — issued after the Tyson Foods chairman, John Tyson, publicly warned of supply shortages — worries you. You think company leadership pushed for plants to stay open and to run at top speed instead of doing more to keep workers safe. This is the reality for Jerald Brooks, a Tyson poultry processing plant worker in Glen Allen, Va. He is not alone.

Meat plant workers rarely speak out for fear of reprisal. But in the video above, Jerald and Lakesha Bailey, a former worker at a Tyson plant, urge the company to slow down the processing lines. Chicken carcasses zoom along the lines at breakneck speeds, and workers are often packed shoulder to shoulder to keep up — making it impossible to social distance.

Tyson Foods claims one of its core values is “Workplace Safety,” yet 570 workers tested positive for the coronavirus in a single poultry plant in Wilkes, N.C. And at Tyson plants around the country, over 7,000 employees have tested positive for the virus. Workers continue to die from Covid-19. Despite this, the company recently reverted to its pre-coronavirus absentee policy; workers who fear getting infected will now be penalized for staying home.

Workers like Jerald and Lakesha want to continue to feed America. But they don’t want to have to sacrifice their safety or that of their families to do so.

Jerald Brooks is a general laborer at a Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Glen Allen, Va.

Lakesha Bailey is a former employee at a Tyson Foods plant in Accomack County, Va.

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8) Coronavirus Cases Rise Sharply in Prisons Even as They Plateau Nationwide
Prison officials have been reluctant to do widespread virus testing even as infection rates are escalating.
By Timothy Williams, Libby Seline and Rebecca Griesbach, June 16, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/us/coronavirus-inmates-prisons-jails.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Protesters held a rally to bring awareness about the spread of the coronavirus inside the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, in May.Credit...Megan Jelinger/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Cases of the coronavirus in prisons and jails across the United States have soared in recent weeks, even as the overall daily infection rate in the nation has remained relatively flat.

The number of prison inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 68,000. Prison deaths tied to the coronavirus have also risen, by 73 percent since mid-May. By now, the five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are not at nursing homes or meatpacking plants, but inside correction institutions, according to data The New York Times has been collecting about confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached American shores.

And the risk of more cases appears imminent: The swift growth in virus cases behind bars comes as demonstrators arrested as part of large police brutality protests across the nation have often been placed in crowded holding cells in local jails.

A muddled, uneven response by corrections officials to testing and care for inmates and workers is complicating the spread of the coronavirus. In interviews, prison and jail officials acknowledged that their approach has largely been based on trial and error, and that an effective, consistent response for U.S. correctional facilities remains elusive.

“If there was clearly a right strategy, we all would have done it,” said Dr. Owen Murray, a University of Texas Medical Branch physician who oversees correctional health care at dozens of Texas prisons. “There is no clear-cut right strategy here. There are a lot of different choices that one could make that are going to be in-the-moment decisions.”

The inconsistent response to the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities is in contrast with efforts to halt its spread in other known incubators of the virus: Much of the cruise ship industry has been closed down. Staff members and residents of nursing homes in several states now face compulsory testing. Many meat processing plants have been shuttered for extensive cleaning.

As the toll in prisons has increased, so has fear among inmates who say the authorities have done too little to protect them. There have been riots and hunger strikes in correctional facilities from Washington State to New York. And even the known case numbers are likely a significant undercount because testing has been extremely limited inside prisons and because some places that test do not release the results to the public.

“It’s like a sword hanging over my head,” said Fred Roehler, 77, an inmate at a California prison who has chronic inflammatory lung disease and other respiratory ailments. “Any officer can bring it in.”

Public officials have long warned that the nation’s correctional facilities would likely become vectors in the pandemic because they are often overcrowded, unsanitary places where social distancing is impractical, bathrooms and day rooms are shared by hundreds of inmates, and access to cleaning supplies is tightly controlled. Many inmates are 60 or older, and many suffer from respiratory illnesses or heart conditions.

In response, local jails have discharged thousands of inmates since February, many of whom had been awaiting trials to have charges heard or serving time for nonviolent crimes. State prison systems, where people convicted of more serious crimes are housed, have been more reluctant to release inmates.

Testing for the virus within the nation’s penal institutions varies widely, and has become a matter of significant debate.

Republican-led states like Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas — which generally spend less on prisoners than the national average — have found themselves at the forefront of testing inmates.

In Texas, the number of prisoners and staff members known to be infected has more than quadrupled to 7,900 during the past three weeks after the state began to test every inmate.

Yet states that typically spend far more on prisons have carried out significantly less testing.

California, which spends $12 billion annually on its prison system, has tested fewer than 7 percent of inmates in several of its largest, most crowded facilities, according to the state’s data. Other Democratic-led states that also spend heavily on prisons, including New York, Oregon and Colorado, have also conducted limited testing despite large outbreaks in their facilities.

New York has tested about 3 percent of its 40,000 prison inmates; more than 40 percent of those tested were infected.

Critics say that the dearth of testing in some facilities has meant that prison and public health officials have only vague notions about the spread of the virus, which has allowed some elected officials to suggest that it is not present at all.

“We have really no true idea of how bad the problem is because most places are not yet testing the way they should,” said Dr. Homer Venters, who served as chief medical officer for the New York City jail system and now works for a group called Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, which works to improve health care services in local jails. “I think a lot of times some of the operational challenges of either not having adequate quarantine policies or adequate medical isolation policies are so vexing that places simply decide that they can just throw up their hands.”

Most state prison systems have conducted few tests. Systems in Illinois, Mississippi and Alabama have tested fewer than 2.5 percent of inmates. And in Louisiana, officials had tested several dozen of its 31,000 inmates in March when the warden and medical director at one of the state’s largest prisons died of the coronavirus. The state has since announced plans to test every inmate.

Prison officials in states where only a limited number of inmates have been tested say they are following federal guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that only prisoners with symptoms be tested.

Prisons that have conducted mass testing have found that about one in seven tests of inmates have come back positive, the Times database shows. The vast majority of inmates who have tested positive have been asymptomatic.

Public health officials say that indicates the virus has been present in prison populations for far longer than had previously been understood.

“If you don’t do testing, you’re flying blind,” said Carlos Franco-Paredes, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

But in California, there continues to be reluctance to test each of the state’s 114,000 inmates, despite growing criticism to take a more aggressive approach. One in six inmates in the state’s prisons have been tested, and the state has released some inmates who were later found to have the virus, raising fears that prison systems could seed new infections outside penal institutions.

“Nothing significant had been done to protect those most vulnerable to the virus,” said Marie Waldron, the Republican minority leader of the California State Assembly.

But J. Clark Kelso, who oversees prison health care in California, said that mass testing would provide only a snapshot of the virus’s spread.

“Testing’s not a complete solution,” Mr. Kelso said. “It gives you better information, but you don’t want to get a false sense of security.”

California’s health department has recommended that a facility’s prison inmates and staff members be given priority for testing once an infection has been identified there.

But the state prison system has conducted mass testing at only a handful of institutions where infections have been found, according to state data. In one of those facilities, the California Institution for Men in Chino, nearly 875 people have tested positive and 13 inmates have died.

Instead, California has employed surveillance testing, which involves testing a limited number of inmates at each state prison regardless of the known infection rate.

That method, Mr. Kelso said, had led officials to conclude that the vast majority of its prisons are free of the virus.

“We’re not 100 percent confident because we’re not testing everyone,” he said. “As we learn every single day from what we’re doing, we may suddenly decide, ‘No, we actually have to test all of them.’ We’re not at that point yet.”

In interviews, California prison inmates say prison staff have sometimes refused to test them, even after they complained about symptoms similar to the coronavirus. Several prisoners said they had been too weak to move for weeks at a time, but were never permitted to see a nurse and had never been tested.

“I had chest pains. I couldn’t breathe,” said Althea Housley, 43, an inmate at Folsom State Prison, where no inmates have tested positive, according to state data. “They told us it was the flu going around, but I ain’t never had a flu like that.”

Mr. Kelso did not dispute the prisoners’ accounts.

In Texas, mass testing has found that nearly 8,000 inmates and guards have been infected. Sixty-two people have died, including some who had not exhibited symptoms.

Dr. Murray, the physician who oversees much of Texas’ prison health care system, said the disparate approaches taken by prison authorities might actually be beneficial as officials compare notes.

“I’m glad we’ve got 50 states and everyone is trying to do something a little different — whether that’s by intent or not — because it’s really the only basis that we’re going to have for comparison later on,” he said.

But Baleegh Brown, 31, an inmate at a California prison, said he was displeased about being part of what he considered a science experiment. His prison has had more than 170 infections.

He said that he and his cellmate are confined to a 6-by-9-foot space for about 22 hours each day as the prison tries to prevent the virus from spreading further. Mr. Brown said he had a weakened immune system after a case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, making him particularly vulnerable to illness.

“We need more testing here so everyone knows for sure,” he said. “And for me, my body has been compromised, so I don’t know how it is going to react. That makes all you don’t know even scarier.”

Brendon Derr, Danya Issawi and Maura Turcotte contributed reporting.

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9) Academia Didn’t Immunize Me From Racism
Even at elite universities, I was exposed to the disease that has endangered black lives for so long.
By Chris Lebron, June 16, 2020
Mr. Lebron is an associate professor of philosophy at Johns Hopkins and the author of The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/opinion/black-academia-racism.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
At the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the school’s founder. Credit...Steve Helber/Associated Press

It could have been the day I died.

It was a fall morning in 2000 and I was on the New York City subway, heading from the Lower East Side to my not very glamorous stock-brokering job in the Financial District. It was casual Friday and I took that theme to heart, wearing sweats and a leather jacket. In my car was a large white youth with a backpack who was making it his business to pace the car banging on the doors and windows. The conductor had apparently called ahead for the police, and a group of officers met the train and approached my car from the platform when we pulled in. I just wanted to get to work, so I stood at the door ready to leave this scene, but the police swarmed my position. Being a good citizen, I went to move to another door so that they could apprehend the culprit.

Instead, I was met by an officer yelling with the kind of authority that surely got him an A at the academy, “Don’t you move!” They also trained his comrades such that each and every officer put his hand on his gun, ready to riddle my body with justice. The now infamous Amy Cooper has given white women a bad name recently, but that day it was a white woman’s panicked plea that saved me: “No! No! Over there!” she yelled, pointing to our rambunctious fellow rider. I went to work, alive but also a little dead inside.

As the nation is being rocked by black, brown and white rage over police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other black Americans, I think of that day frequently. The rage is flaring now because it has become entirely too normal for a white man with power to casually, so very casually, apply enough pressure to a vulnerable black neck and cause the soul to vacate in an untimely fashion. America’s propensity to dispense with black life is a sickness, a pathology that authorizes public murder for the sake of white supremacy.

Three major medical associations recently declared racism and police brutality public health crises. But I had long ago begun thinking of racism as a kind of social disease. I even gave it a name — Racial Diminishment Syndrome. This disease, like the coronavirus, is hard to detect, highly contagious and often deadly. Many of the infected exhibit no symptoms, but may be “spreaders.” When R.D.S. is active in public spaces (almost always), social distancing will decrease the likelihood of extreme illness or untimely death.

Consider recent cases like Ahmaud Arbery and Atatiana Jefferson: Cause of death — R.D.S. by way of jogging near white people and standing in a window where the police could see you, respectively. George Floyd’s alleged offense was passing a fake $20 bill at a convenience store. Corporate barons rob the American people daily to the tune of millions, but it was Floyd who got a knee to the neck.

However, R.D.S. need not resolve morbidly. For instance, I am still alive. The syndrome more commonly results in discomfort, inconvenience and the sort of pains that eventually go away but the memories of which do not. Here we are talking about being pulled over for driving while black; a hotel patron assuming I am staff while walking the hall to my own room; professional colleagues failing to consider my point of view; and on and on. Social distancing can help prevent this kind of exposure, but it goes only so far.

In 2007, my wife and I moved to Charlottesville, Va. Before arriving I had been heartened by its electoral map — bright blue surrounded by socially menacing red. Once there, I soon learned that a blue town is in some ways worse than a red one because everyone is possessed of the conviction of their own racial virtues, and they’re almost all very wrong. My first three years in Charlottesville were spent coldly coming to terms with its radical segregation and the absence of a black middle class. I observed as the police harassed homeless black men on the beloved Downtown Mall while the white frat boys got to shamelessly litter the streets surrounding the University of Virginia with beer kegs. Dionysus surely considered these misfits his chosen ones.

By 2010, nine years after the day I could have died, I was hardly leaving the house. When I did venture out, I kept to myself, avoided small talk, went straight home after doing what I needed to do, grateful when I finally made it back to the safe comfort of my own home. Nothing in particular was happening in the world other than America just being America.

With middle age looming on the horizon, my tolerance for being a social other and possibly in danger just by walking out my front door was atrophying. The equation was becoming clearer in my mind: Me + white spaces = precarity. At the University of Virginia, where I was an assistant professor, I received lessons from senior colleagues who had the power to make or break my career on the need for humility in work I sought to publish. Then there was the time that a colleague, upon learning my wife and I had accepted positions at Yale, saw fit to walk into my office and quip, “If I were angry at you, I would tell you to go [expletive] … but I’m not!” He was angry, and he did effectively just tell me that. Social distance was needed; this man was a vector of R.D.S.

When the Black Lives Matter movement took hold in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder in 2012, it was almost as if an incantation had been whispered into the ether, because for the next five years America turned into what looked like a sizzle reel for a black snuff film, as images of shot black body after choked black body after broken black body after dragged on the sidewalk black body after violently removed from the public pool black body made their way to our computers and phones. But this was just the most grotesque presentation of R.D.S. My own experiences on the ground were more mundane, but terrifying in ways one can’t quite put into words.

The northwestern edge of Yale’s campus is rimmed with expensive shops. The highlight of these is an Apple store. One especially sunny and optimistic-feeling day, as I was walking back to my office from grabbing lunch I witnessed a scene that triggered my subway memory. About 10 police officers and six vehicles, some of them vans big enough for several suspects, had converged on the body of a lone weeping young black male, about 20 years old by my guess. The police had him sitting in full display on the curb instead of in a car or wagon, thus a large white audience of Yale students were learning just how dangerous the New Haven natives were.

As I passed, I heard this young man sob: “What you expect me to do? I’m tired, I’m tired!” Maybe his onlookers were confused about his fatigue but I wasn’t. He was tired of a mega-rich institution that thrived despite the black poverty that circled the institution like a Trumpian wall. He was tired of things like Yale building two new residential colleges at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, yet to look at the construction crews at the building site right next to one of the blackest areas of New Haven, you’d swear someone had said, “Hire anyone except those black people over there.”

I didn’t care about whatever property he allegedly lifted from the Apple store because I know what had been lifted from him and others on the social edges — a sense of being full and fully respected members of the richest nation on earth. As I walked by this young man I could only wish he had kept his social distance. R.D.S. will get you.

By the time I reached my present job at Johns Hopkins University, I had essentially given up. When the small number of my black colleagues decided to challenge the university’s wish to establish an armed police force on campus, one likely to be staffed by former officers from the Baltimore Police Department — one of the deadliest in the nation — I never bothered to join them. Valiant as their attempt was, I know this: When fearful whites and co-opted blacks decide the scariest people on earth are poor blacks, absolutely nothing can stop them from putting the police between them and the black folks they help to keep scary.

The resolution went forward despite opposition and passed, but last week the administration decided to delay the arrival of the armed force by two years. In the face of entire cities defunding or disbanding the police, this can’t help but strike me as a hedge for a return of the status quo, rotten as it is. If these black people won’t stay in their designated spaces, the police will help remind them. It will be a great surprise if I am not driven to my keyboard within the next few years writing about our campus’s very own George Floyd moment. In the meantime, I keep my distance — I don’t want to be a candidate for such a moment.

It is not only instances that can result in physical harm I avoid. I almost never attend casual faculty functions. I don’t go out for drinks. I don’t entertain for dinner parties and I don’t seek to ingratiate myself into the lives of my white colleagues. I have a great deal of respect for the many white academics I have worked with. But some of them remain vectors of R.D.S. nonetheless. I know so much about many of these people because I know what it is white America needs me to be for it to allow me inside. What they need is a version of myself that acquiesces and conforms, that is never displeased or contrary — or angry.

I won’t do it. I’ll social distance. It’s already hard enough to breathe in America. Every day you feel like you’re living with a knee on your neck. It’s a sickness. And I am not immune.

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10) Rich Kids Are Eating Up the Financial Aid Pot
A large share of strapped school budgets are going to “merit aid” for wealthy kids, as part of a bidding war to enroll high-income students.
By Martin Kurzweil and Josh Wyner, June 16, 2020
The authors are higher education researchers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/opinion/coronavirus-college-rich-kids.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Graduation at Pasadena City College last June in Pasadena, Calif. Credit...Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In recent decades, many institutions of higher education have increasingly been awarding money to students who do not need that aid to afford college. More than half of the 339 public universities sampled in a paper published by New America at least doubled the amount they spent on so-called merit aid from 2001 to 2017; more than 25 percent quadrupled the amount. About two out of every five dollars these schools provided in institutional aid went to students the government deemed able to afford college without need-based aid. The schools do it because well-to-do families, overall, bring the institutions more tuition dollars than their lower income peers.

By diverting such a large share of limited dollars from students who need help to afford college to students who don’t, schools are exacerbating a long-term trend of many schools enrolling far more students from families at the top of the income ladder than from those at the middle and bottom of it.

This fall, it is likely that the practice of awarding merit aid to students who could afford college without it will only accelerate. Because schools will be starved for money because of Covid-19 closures, they may look to offset a potentially historic decrease in enrollment by competing for a shrinking pool of wealthier students.

Simultaneously, countless colleges are anticipating declines in revenue since more campuses will be closed, meaning they could be even hungrier for the tuition fees wealthy families pay. (Most merit scholarships aren’t anywhere near full rides.) Currently, merit aid and financial aid are effectively in the same pot at most schools, so the funds for the increase we expect in merit-based aid are likely to be culled from the pool of financial aid available to talented students from working class families.

This dynamic can and must change. Some leaders of colleges have wanted to end this competition by collaborating with other colleges to reserve the vast majority of aid to students who clearly have the need. But these leaders haven’t so far because they fear it would run afoul of federal antitrust law.

Generally, ever since the U.S. v. Brown University decision by the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals in 1993 — which ruled that the efforts of M.I.T. and Ivy League schools to collectively determine the amount of aid they would award was an antitrust violation — higher education aid policies that rely on interschool cooperation have been discouraged. It’s a viewpoint supported by written guidance from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. In 2013, after the Council of Independent Colleges merely raised the elimination of merit aid at its members’ meeting, the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama opened an investigation.

While these laws make sense for other institutions, Congress should carve out an exception for schools. Inaction will mean furthering inequality.

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, many colleges and universities employed a variety of tactics to recruit students from high-income households — and plying them with money was one of them. But now — with many domestic students hesitant about returning to campus and with international student enrollment about to plummet — inequality in the disbursal of aid could get much worse. An even more competitive push to enroll wealthier students this fall could result in institutions dedicating an even greater share of their scarce resources to the students who need them the least.

Ultimately, these competitive strategies are unlikely to work and fully meet enrollment needs over the long run. Yet, many colleges may persist with this approach as they have for decades, limiting opportunity for a large pool of talented low-income and (truly) middle-income students.

They can still change tack. Colleges and universities can still come together to agree on how to limit merit aid. Currently, competition to enroll higher-paying students functions much like an arms race. Without constraints, institutions will continually raise the stakes. A mutual agreement to disarm can de-escalate the conflict. But they’ll need help from Congress.

Congress has the power to change this dynamic. As it has done for sports leagues — including professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey — legislators can grant an exemption so that colleges and universities can coordinate their financial and merit aid activities. And of course, they must devise any rules limiting the use of aid for wealthy students fairly, in good faith. Higher education associations and third-party watchdogs can transparently help the reform process.

During this pandemic and the subsequent recession taking hold, it is unconscionable to use ever scarcer college and university resources as part of a bidding war to get high-income students to choose one college over another. Without congressional action, and commitment from college and universities, that’s precisely where we may be heading.

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11) Over 2,000 Black People Were Lynched From 1865 to 1877, Study Finds
The Equal Justice Initiative has documented a rate of killing in the period following the Civil War that was far higher than the decades that followed.
By Campbell Robertson, June 16, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/us/reconstruction-violence.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, speaks at the E.J.I. Legacy Pavilion in Montgomery, Ala., in January. Credit...Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser, via Associated Press

In the fall of 1870, Guilford Coleman, a black man, was abducted from his home in Alabama, beaten to death and thrown into a well for having voted at a political convention to nominate a Republican governor. The message was received, according to local newspaper accounts: Those in favor of Reconstruction dared “not canvass the district, lest they lose their lives.”

Mr. Coleman’s murder, one of thousands carried out by white mobs after the Civil War, is documented in a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative, a 31-year-old legal advocacy group based in Montgomery, Ala., that is dedicated to exposing the country’s legacy of lynching and white supremacist terror.

Reconstruction began after the end of the Civil War, and in its first years brought the registration of thousands of black voters and the election of hundreds of black officials. But it was met with fierce resistance, and, having been drained of resources, was abandoned in 1877.

An earlier report published in 2015 by the Equal Justice Initiative documented more than 4,400 lynchings of black people by whites in the 74 years following Reconstruction. The names of the victims were etched in stone and brought together in the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala. Since opening in 2018, the memorial and accompanying museum have drawn 750,000 visitors.

The new report, released Tuesday, focuses just on the dozen years of Reconstruction itself.

The organization has documented more than 2,000 lynching victims in that time, a rate of killing far higher than the decades that followed, and a toll that the report itself acknowledges is likely thousands below the true figure. Many of the lynchings differed from those in the Jim Crow years, when jeering white crowds would gather for public hangings. But the violence was as grotesque, the pretexts as absurd and the motive — the assertion of white supremacy — just as clear.

Many of the attacks during Reconstruction, particularly after black people began to gain political power, were even more brazen in their defiance of the law than those that came after. White mobs killed or assaulted stunning numbers of black elected officials and activists, including Jack Dupree, the president of a political club in Mississippi, who was dragged from his home by a group of Klansmen. The Klansmen beat him, according to the report, “slit his throat, cut out his heart and intestines and threw his corpse into a nearby creek.”

This violence would define America’s racial history for generations.

“As we opened the museum, the memorial, it just became clearer and clearer that the 12-year period following the Civil War was the really critical moment,” said Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. “It’s only because we gave in to this lawlessness and abandoned the rule of law and decided that these constitutional amendments would not be enforced that it was possible to have nearly a century of racial terror.”

The murders described in the new report include politically-motivated massacres, such as the killing of as many as 150 black people who were protesting a fixed election in Colfax, La., and singular instances of brutality, such as when three white men set fire to a black man in Tennessee in 1873, “just for the fun of seeing” the man “jump,” as one of the killers later said.

As the report acknowledges, it is impossible to fully account for the white supremacist violence in the Reconstruction era, when campaigns were carried out by vigilantes, terrorist groups like the Klan and the local authorities themselves. Even the records kept by the offices of the Freedmen’s Bureau, among the most reliable accounts of the time, are far short of definitive. As stated bluntly in the correspondence from one Freedmen’s Bureau office in Texas, “It is impossible to give the number of Negroes that have been killed.”

Congressional hearings from the time have provided some details on violence in the era, said Eric Foner, a historian and author of numerous books on Reconstruction. They also reveal just how endemic the violence was.

“The local minister, the local doctor, the local lawyer, the head of the City Council — these are the guys inflicting violence,” Mr. Foner said. “Even more than that, it’s supported by the vast bulk of the population.”

Given the challenges of documentation, the new report focuses less on the numbers than the larger tragedy of Reconstruction, a period when schools for black people proliferated and black politicians held office all across the South. That it was over within 12 years — violently resisted by white Southerners, dismantled piecemeal by the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimately abandoned by the federal government — proved how fleeting progress can be, Mr. Stevenson said.

It is a lesson particularly relevant to the current moment with nationwide demands for racial justice. Such changes will only be lasting, Mr. Stevenson said, if we face up to the reality of how the country has viewed black people for hundreds of years.

“It’s important that we quantify and document violence,” he said. “But what’s more important is that we acknowledge that we have not been honest about who we are, and about how we came to this moment.”

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12) After Rift Over Protests, N.Y.P.D. Pulls Out of Prosecutors’ Offices
The police commissioner said the timing had nothing to do with the prosecutors’ decisions to drop charges against certain protesters, but it seemed to reflect a growing divide.
By Jan Ransom, June 16, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/nyregion/nypd-district-attorneys-protests.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
Four district attorneys in New York have said they will drop charges against protesters arrested on minor charges like unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct. Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

A few hours after the Manhattan district attorney announced he would not prosecute some of the protesters who had been arrested during demonstrations against police brutality, the Police Department sent him a message: All the officers assigned to his office would be pulled off the job to help with crowd control.

The district attorneys in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens made similar decisions and received the same news.

Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said on Friday that the timing was unrelated to the prosecutors’ decisions. Resources were pulled from the entire department to cover the protests, he said.

But to some in the prosecutors’ offices, the episode was emblematic of a growing divide between the police and most of the city’s district attorneys over how to address public outrage about racial disparities that pervade the criminal justice system.

As thousands have taken to the streets in New York City to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and more broadly, systemic racism in America, the city’s prosecutors have taken an increasingly liberal stance on issues of policing.

The prosecutors went so far last week as to support the Legislature’s decision to make chokeholds a crime and to repeal a law that kept police misconduct records secret — a forceful disavowal of the status quo, which largely protected abusive officers.

“We must take action against the use of excessive force by the police,” said a statement signed by four of five of the city’s district attorneys. In a separate letter, the Staten Island district attorney expressed his support for the Legislature’s actions.

In a sense, the growing distance between the two pillars of local law enforcement reflects a political reality. Unlike police commanders and police union leaders, the prosecutors must stand for re-election in a city where public opinion has swung hard over the last month in the direction of reining in the police department and cutting its budget. But the decision to drop charges against some of the protesters is also part of a longer-running trend.

In recent years, the district attorneys in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx — now joined by Queens — have scaled back prosecutions for minor crimes like marijuana possession and turnstile jumping, because disproportionate numbers of black and Hispanic residents were arrested for these offenses, and prosecutors did not believe they were serious enough to justify a criminal record. More recently the prosecutors have declined to seek convictions for many social-distancing violations for the same reason.

On Friday, Mr. Shea denied that the police leadership and the district attorneys were at odds. For the last six years, he said the Police Department also has been steadily shifting its strategies, though, he added, “maybe not as fast as some people like.”

“Are we always in lock step? No,” he said. “We’re human beings and from different agencies.” Still, he noted arrests and summonses have been cut dramatically over the years, and officers have been focused on violent crimes rather than minor offenses.

But some senior police commanders were furious about some district attorneys’ decisions not to prosecute, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal meetings. Police union leaders said some of the prosecutors were caving in to public pressure and picking which laws they wanted to enforce.

“It is a dereliction of duty to their oath of office,” said Edward D. Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “More important than undercutting the work of the N.Y.P.D., it is undercutting public safety.”

Police personnel were also pulled from the district attorney’s office in Staten Island, which tends to take a more conservative approach to law enforcement than the prosecutors in the other four boroughs. Ryan Lavis, a spokesman for the office, did not respond to several requests for information on how the office was handling protesters accused of minor offenses.

Two weeks ago, a few days into the protests, demonstrations turned violent as police officers and protesters clashed in the streets. Images of burning police vehicles and looting led the mayor to impose a curfew.

But videos of officers using excessive force on demonstrators also appeared on social media and on the evening news, and after the curfew was imposed, officers were filmed using batons on peaceful demonstrators who appeared to have done little more than march past the deadline. The mayor and the police drew fire from many elected officials.

On June 6, four of the city’s five district attorneys said that they would not pursue convictions against people arrested on minor charges at protests, though they all said they would prosecute people accused of violence against officers and looting. District attorneys in other major cities like Los Angeles and Miami had made similar announcements.

“The protests are important, powerful and are very positive,” the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a recent interview. “We need to make sure we protect that activity.”

The Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, took a similar position, saying, “We stand for the right of people to protest.” In Queens, District Attorney Melinda Katz said her office would not prosecute anyone who had merely protested, “which is a First Amendment right.”

Beyond immediate political considerations, the prosecutors’ decisions reflected differing philosophies on law enforcement in the city. The district attorneys have moved away from their traditional role as law-and-order enforcers and have embraced efforts to put fewer offenders in jail.

Mr. Gonzalez has been at the forefront of the move to reduce the jail population and has clashed with the police over gun arrests. He has tossed many cases in which searches were possibly unconstitutional and has diverted young gun offenders into community programs instead of jail.

Mr. Vance also has said that he is committed to minimizing unnecessary interactions with the criminal court system and reducing racial disparities and the impact on people’s lives that low-level prosecutions have.

“The justice system shouldn’t be the first resort,” Mr. Vance said in an interview. “It should be used only when necessary, especially for low-level offenses, which tend to fall on men and women of color and those economically less resourced.”

Ms. Katz, who is in her first year as the Queens district attorney, has taken a similar stance, saying that it makes more sense, for instance, to divert low-level drug offenders to social service programs. “You shouldn’t have a record for that following you for the rest of your life,” she said.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement policy nonprofit, said the police still feel a responsibility to respond to “quality of life issues,” like people who congregate on a street corner where marijuana is being sold. But he said that prosecutors “feel like it’s low-level crime and nothing really happens, so why spend the resources?”

“There’s two competing perspectives here,” he said.

The scaling back of the types of crimes district attorneys are willing to prosecute has widened the rift between the police and prosecutors, some policing experts said.

“There are no more law-and-order district attorneys,” said Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired N.Y.P.D. sergeant and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “The pendulum has swung so far left.”

Not only have the district attorneys declined to prosecute protesters charged with unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and curfew violations, but they have been aggressively going after police accused of assaulting protesters. About 40 officers are under investigation, officials have said.

In Manhattan, employees in Mr. Vance’s office have been scouring social media for videos of police abuse. The office is investigating allegations that officers assaulted the Wall Street Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh, who is black and was covering the protests and had his press badge displayed.

The office is also reviewing the conduct of officers from a violent social-distancing arrest on May 2 in the East Village in which one of the officers sat and knelt on the neck and upper torso of a man he was arresting.

In that case, Mr. Vance declined to prosecute the men accused of violating social-distancing rules. Enforcement of these rules has targeted black and Hispanic men, The Times has reported.

In Brooklyn, Mr. Gonzalez charged police officer Vincent D’Andraia with misdemeanor assault after video showed that he violently pushed a woman during a protest. The woman was hospitalized with a concussion as a result of the encounter.

“Individual cases are one thing that we can do as district attorney," Mr. Gonzalez said. “But we have to make structural and systemic changes to prevent these acts from happening again.”

Ali Watkins contributed to this report.

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13) Deeper Inquiries Launched Into Hanging Deaths of Two Black Men in California
By Reuters, June 15, 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/06/15/us/15reuters-california-hanging.html?searchResultPosition=1

PALMDALE, CA - JUNE 13: A woman attaches balloons to the tree that authorities say Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old black man, was found hanging dead from near Palmdale City Hall, as people demonstrate on June 13, 2020 in Palmdale, California. Officials have been quick to rule Fuller's death a suicide despite an autopsy report not yet being completed. Fuller's family and community activists are asking for further investigation into his death. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in the Southern California city of Palmdale are investigating the death of a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree near City Hall, which they originally described as an apparent suicide, prompting outrage in the community.
A passerby reported seeing Robert Fuller's body around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Emergency personnel responded and found that he appeared to have died by suicide, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said.
Fuller's death has generated intense scrutiny, especially after nationwide protests rebuking the police killing of George Floyd. In a surprising turn, the case brought to light the death of another black man found hanging from a tree on May 31 in Victorville, a desert city about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Palmdale.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Palmdale, a city of 150,000, marching from the park where Fuller’s body was found to the sheriff’s station. Many carried signs that said “Justice for Robert Fuller."
More than 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a full investigation into Fuller's death. Community members confronted city officials at a contentious news briefing Friday, asking why they were quick to label his death a suicide and demanding an independent autopsy.
“I have doubts about what happened,” Marisela Barajas, who went to the press conference and joined a crowd gathered at the tree where Fuller's body was found, told the Los Angeles Times.
“All alone, in front of the City Hall — it's more like a statement,” she said. “Even if it was a suicide, that in itself is kind of a statement.”
Lt. Kelly Yagerlener of the county medical examiner-coroner’s office said a decision on the cause of death is deferred pending an investigation. A full autopsy is planned.
Residents demanded surveillance video around the time and place where Fuller's body was found. The city said there were no outdoor cameras, and video recorders on a nearby traffic signal could not have captured what happened.
Sheriff's Capt. Ron Shaffer said homicide detectives were investigating the circumstances leading to Fuller's death to determine if foul play was involved. He urged members of the public to contact detectives if they have relevant information, particularly about where Fuller had been and who he had been with in recent weeks.
Palmdale officials wrote in a statement that investigators have been in contact with Fuller's family. A statement posted on the city website said it supports calls for an independent investigation and independent autopsy.
KPCC-FM reports that at the march Saturday, Fuller’s sister Diamond Alexander insisted her brother was not suicidal.
“Robert was a good little brother to us and it’s like everything they have been telling us has not been right ... and we just want to know the truth,” she said.
In neighboring San Bernardino County, authorities there said they were still investigating the cause of death of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch, whose body was found hanging in a tree near the Victorville City Library. A sheriff's spokeswoman, Jodi Miller, told Victor Valley News foul play was not suspected in Harsch's death but the man's family said they were concerned it will be ruled a suicide to avoid further attention.
In a statement to the publication on Saturday, the family said a few people who were at the scene told them there was blood on his shirt but no indication of a struggle. They said Harsch didn't seem to be depressed and had recent conversations with his children about seeing them soon.
“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible,” the statement said. "There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now. We want justice not comfortable excuses.”
Messages seeking comments from Miller and the coroner's office have not been returned.

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